This is a classic Appalachian dish, brought to this country as Italian immigrants flocked to the mountainous regions of Appalachia in the late 1800s to mine coal -- they brought their excellent recipes with them. Over time, local ingredients crept into such recipes, making them a part of the Appalachian culture and tradition. I have updated the ingredients to facilitate convenience. Like most Appalachian recipes, this one conveys two primary characteristics: major flavor and, it "sticks to your ribs". That is a complaint we often hear in regard to vegetable-based soups, "An hour later and I'm hungry again." Not so with this one. The critical ingredients of this recipe include the Italian sausage, the carrots (which provide a natural sweetness) and the Italian dressing dry mix. The vegetables could certainly be substituted to include zucchini, turnips, and perhaps even some chopped Rocket lettuce. If you're not crazy about tomato-based soups, simply use more chicken or beef stock and less tomato/vegetable juice. Enjoy!