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Italian Sausage Soup with Green Pepper, Chickpeas, and Pesto

This easy Italian Sausage Soup with Chickpeas, Green Pepper, and Pesto cooks on top of the stove in less than an hour, and this tasty soup is gluten-free, low-glycemic, and South Beach Diet phase one. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

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Italian Sausage Soup with Green Pepper, Chickpeas, and Pesto found on KalynsKitchen.com

This new recipe for Italian Sausage Soup with Green Pepper, Chickpeas, and Pesto is something I came up with a few weeks ago when I found turkey Italian sausage on sale at the store and I wanted a hearty comforting soup that I could make and eat for dinner that same night. I’ve made a few soup variations with similar flavors, but what made this soup especially enjoyable for me was an idea that popped into my head to mash some of the chickpeas so they kind of dissolved into the soup.  (I like chickpeas, but I don’t always like biting into a whole chickpea in a bowl of soup or a salad.)

I shared some of this with Jake when he came to cook with me, and we both thought it was a keeper! It’s January, so the focus is on healthier Phase One and low carb recipes, and if you want a low-carb version of this soup just omit the chickpeas and use another low-carb veggie like zucchini.  I hope this is useful for anyone (like me!) who’s getting back on track in the new year.  So healthy January, here we come!

Italian Sausage Soup with Green Pepper, Chickpeas, and Pesto found on KalynsKitchen.com

Saute the chopped onion and chopped green pepper in a little olive oil until they’re tender and slightly browned. Then add the Italian Herb Blend and minced garlic and cook about a minute more.  Transfer to the soup pot. Add the chicken stock and petite diced tomatoes and let the soup start to simmer while you brown the sausage.

In the same frying pan, heat a tiny bit more olive oil and cook the sausage until it’s nicely browned, breaking apart with the turner while you cook.  (I use turkey Italian Sausage but use pork sausage if you prefer.) While the sausage cooks, drain a can of chickpeas into a colander placed into the sink, rinse well with cold water, and then mash slightly with a potato masher.

Add the browned sausage, mashed chickpeas, and red pepper flakes to the soup and cook on low for about 30 minutes.  (A little longer won’t hurt.) Then stir in 2-3 tablespoons of basil pesto and let the soup simmer about 10 minutes more.  Serve hot, with Parmesan cheese to add at the table if desired.

More Soups with Italian Sausage:

Spicy Sausage, Lentil, and Tomato Soup ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Sausage and Lentil Soup ~ My Baking Addiction
Italian Sausage and Bean Soup with Chard ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Black Bean Soup with Hot Italian Sausage and Spinach ~ Guilty Kitchen
Lentil Soup with Italian Sausage and Roasted Red Peppers ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Italian Sausage Soup with Green Pepper, Chickpeas, and Pesto

This easy Italian Sausage Soup with Chickpeas, Green Pepper, and Pesto cooks on top of the stove in less than an hour and it’s delicious!


  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped small
  • 2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Italian Herb Blend
  • 1 T minced garlic (minced garlic from a jar will work)
  • 3 cans (14 oz.) chicken broth (Or use 5-6 cups homemade chicken stock)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 pkg. (19.5 oz / 5 links) turkey Italian sausage
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas / garbanzo beans
  • 2-3 T basil pesto (I used my frozen Basil Pesto with Lemon)
  • freshly-grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)


  1. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and saute the onion and green bell pepper until it’s tender and starting to brown, about 8 minutes.  Add the Italian Herb Blend and minced garlic and cook about 1 minute more.
  2. Add the vegetables to soup pot with the chicken broth or stock and petite diced tomatoes and start to simmer the soup on medium heat.
  3. Heat the other teaspoon of oil in the same frying pan, squeeze the sausage out of the links into the pan, and brown the sausage, breaking apart with a turner as it cooks.  (Discard the sausage casings.  Don’t rush this browning step; the browning adds a lot of flavor.)
  4. While the sausage browns, put the garbanzo beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears.  Mash beans slightly with a potato masher.
  5. Add the browned Italian sausage, mashed beans, and red pepper flakes (if using) to the soup, turn heat to low, and simmer about 30 minutes.  (Slightly longer won’t hurt, even as long as a couple of hours.)
  6. After the soup has simmered enough to blend flavors. stir in the basil pesto and cook about 10 minutes more.
  7. Serve hot, with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese to add at the table if desired.
All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
I use lean turkey Italian Sausage and use a generous amount of sausage in proportion to the amount of beans to make this Italian Sausage Soup with Chickpeas, Green Pepper, and Pesto a low-glycemic soup that’s suitable for all phases of the South Beach Diet. If you’d like a soup that’s even lower in carbs, double the recipe but only use one can of garbanzo beans, or omit beans completely and use a low-carb veggie like zucchini.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

Italian Sausage Soup with Green Pepper, Chickpeas, and Pesto found on KalynsKitchen.com

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21 comments on “Italian Sausage Soup with Green Pepper, Chickpeas, and Pesto”

  1. Does anyone know how many weight watcher point this is? I used lean Italian turkey

  2. Does anyone know how many ww points this is? I'm obsessed with this recipe but I used Italian lean turkey

  3. Made this last night. Delicious!

  4. Made this for dinner this evening. It was excellent. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. So glad you enjoyed it!

  6. This was quite possibly the best soup I've ever made. I forgot to buy tomatoes so I left them out, and while I'm sure the soup would be excellent with them in, it was still unbelievably delicious. It goes EXCELLENT with a slice of some crusty bread because of how much flavor is in it.

    Thank you so much!

  7. Marie, I'm chuckling because a package of turkey sausage like that is how this soup was born! Hope you enjoy!

    Teresa, so glad you liked it!

  8. We had this tonight for dinner and it was a big hit!!! A deliciously satisfying soup ~ great job Kalyn! Teresa in Texas

  9. I'm jumping back on the Phase 1 bandwagon for January, and I was THRILLED to see this soup. Mostly because I have everything onhand to make this tonight, including some reduced-price "cook or freeze by 1/3/14" turkey italian sausage I needed to do something with! This looks delish. Thanks for another great recipe, can't wait to try this!

  10. Cristin, so glad you like it. I loved the smashed chickpeas.

  11. Oh my! You're the only person who has been able to get me to eat green peppers because of your amazing recipes and my husband is grateful. Yet another delicious recipe we must try within the next week! Smashing the chickpeas is such a great idea…mmm. Thanks for the "flashback" recipes from previous Januarys also!

  12. Thanks Paz, and hunker down in the storm! Sounds like a bad one.

    Coco, so glad you like it.

  13. yummy! 🙂
    happy new year!

  14. This certainly looks good, especially on a snowy, wintry day like the one we're having right now. 🙂

  15. TW, I am hoping the storm will not be too horrible for you guys! We had our turn here a few weeks ago and it was not fun.

  16. That basil pesto makes for a great "secret" flavor boost. A perfect soup for a winter night – and it's going to be a doozy on the East Coast!

  17. Thanks Lydia. I am thinking some of this soup from the freezer is my dinner tonight!

  18. I love the idea of smashing some of the chickpeas to thicken the soup. I love when peas and beans "melt" into the liquid. What a great way to start the year!

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