Monday, November 15, 2010

Tuscan Sausage Soup

I love soup.  In fact, I could eat soup every day for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. It's an easy-to- make, economical, one-pot meal that results in warm bellies, happy faces and freezable leftovers (bonus!).  Pair it with some crusty Italian bread, maybe a nice green salad if you're feeling frisky and it's on like Donkey Kong!  Let's take a walk on the wild side, shall we?

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. Sweet Italian sausage links, casings removed (or 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. dried sage
1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper (more or less to taste)
1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes with juice
6 cups chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 1/4 cups uncooked small pasta (such as ditalini, small shells, elbows, etc.)
Freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Cook sausage until browned, breaking sausage into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon.  Once browned, remove sausage with a slotted spoon to a bowl and cover to keep warm.  Do not drain sausage drippings from pot (unless you're a health nut or something).

Add onions, carrots, celery & garlic to the pot and cook until softened (about 10 minutes), scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pot.  (Note: if it looks like the browned bits are getting BLACK, add a small splash of chicken broth or water to the pot and it should scrape up easily and stop the burning process).  Stir in the basil, rosemary, red pepper and sage .

Mix in the browned sausage, tomatoes, broth and beans.  Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove lid, stir in pasta, and continue cooking, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.

Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese, warm crusty bread, perhaps a salad, possibly a glass of vino, and you are in for a treat, my friends.  Enjoy!

Makes about 6 servings.

1 comment:

  1. This was insane-O!!! Nick kept asking for more of the "broth" because the flavor was incredible. The chunks of sausage (go ahead Kelly and insert your joke here) was the topper. I am one lucky dude!