Most folks are familiar with the soup nazi from Seinfeld fame. I am not one to ever say "No soup for you!", so I guess you can't consider me a soup nazi, but I am CRAZY in how much I LOVE making soup. It is my favorite thing to do when the weather gets cold. There is something I find therapeutic about chopping onions, carrots and celery which make up the base for so many soups. Soup warms the soul and it makes people feel comforted and loved. That is a lot from a simple little bowl of warm goodness. Maybe cup-a-soup doesn't do that, but a good homemade soup sure does.
I create a lot of soups on my own. Even if you aren't the best cook, once you have made maybe 5 different soups from recipes you can get the gist of it and start putting together different items that you love to create your own signature soup. Every once in while, I want something different and start searching recipes. This Italian Sausage soup is one I found at allrecipes (duh - so far every recipe on here is from allrecipes!). I have to say that is probably one of my top five all time favorite soups . It has a little of everything: meat, veggies, beans and pasta. It also has a little kick to it. Ooooh, it is good. I have a chronic heart condition so I make sure that I use salt free tomatoes and chicken broth. I suppose I could be adventurous and make my own sausage without salt (I am sure I can find a recipe for that online, too!), but I figure that if the sausage is the only thing salted, the soup will still be lower in sodium overall. I like to make enough to freeze, so I normally double the recipe. As is, it serves 8.
ITALIAN SAUSAGE SOUP
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed (I use sweet Italian)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
- 1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can canned diced tomatoes
- 5 cups chicken broth*
- 1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
- 1 cup uncooked pasta shells (I use whatever small pasta I have on hand)
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage until evenly browned, and break into pieces. Stir in the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, basil, rosemary, red pepper, and sage. Continue cooking 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Mix in tomatoes, and cook until heated through. Stir in the broth and beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes.
- Stir pasta into soup, and continue cooking 10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente.
*This makes a very thick soup. We like a little more broth, so I use around 8 cups.
**HINT: I always serve soup on the second day. It tastes better and completely different than on the day it is made. Also, for soups with pasta, I turn it off and then add the pasta. Otherwise, it soaks up so much liquid that the pasta gets mushy. You can even make the pasta the next day separately and add it in the cold soup when the pasta has cooled off.
Serve with a nice, hearty bread and enjoy!!
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