Tuesday, March 22, 2011

ITALIAN SAUSAGE SOUP (and a meatless version)

I love soup.  There.  I've said it.  I loooove soup!  I would eat it every day if I could.  All kinds of soup.  I'm always looking for new soup recipes.  And yes, I know it's spring.  Well, in other states it's spring.  Here in Florida, we only have two seasons:  Summer and Not Summer.  Spring happened a week ago.  It lasted 48 hours and then summer arrived.  But no matter.  Any day is soup day.  If necessary, turn the air conditioner on.  So, I had a package of ground Italian sausage and couldn't decide how to use it.  The idea of another pasta sauce just didn't do it for me today and we had lasagna last week.  What to do, what to do.....Soup!   I went searching on the Internet for a recipe and sort-of found one on www.cooks.com.  First, I didn't have the exact ingredients on hand, so I started substituting things.  Then, their recipe seemed a bit bland.  So, I started adding things.  This is my final result.


1 lb. ground Italian sausage                          
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3 leaves fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1 can 15 oz. cannelini beans
2 can 15 oz. Great northern beans
2 can 15 oz. Italian diced tomatoes
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
shaved Parmesan cheese

Cook sausage until brown, add garlic, onion, pepper, and basil. Sauté 4 minutes. Add beans, tomato, 2 1/4 cups broth, and spinach to stockpot.  Add meat mixture to stockpot; use 1/4 cup broth to deglaze saute pan, adding to the soup mixture.

Cover, bring to a boil,reduce heat, and simmer 1 - 2 hours, then remove from heat.

Serve in soup bowl; sprinkle with cheese and serve with garlic bread.
It turned out great!  We loved it and it was so filling.  After it was finished, I started thinking about making this a meatless recipe.  You could omit the sausage, add oregano, salt, and pepper (to make up for the seasonings in the sausage) and I would probably add more beans and tomatoes to add more body to the soup.  That's my idea, anyway.

MUSIC TO COOK BY:  Blues legend Pinetop Perkins passed away yesterday at the age of 97.  He was considered to be one of the best blues pianists and influenced generations of musicians.  Here is a video to honor his memory.

Until next time, Happy Cooking!  :)

Music is what feelings sound like. - Unknown




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