24 October 2012

Italian sausage soup

Vegetable Soup for a Crowd
{image credit: Lynn.Gardner}
This is a favorite. I remember making this soup for Jared when we were still dating. At the time, he was attempting to hold down two jobs and keep house for himself, so I would try to cook for him once or twice a week. (I can't stand it when someone is hungry, particularly when I'm in love with him.)

As I recall, I'd picked up some groceries to stash in his refrigerator-- we were planning to have some friends over for dinner later that week. I dropped them off while he was at work, and then decided to make some soup while I was there. Was this an act of selflessness or a ploy to impress my boyfriend? You decide. He liked it, the recipe stayed in my binder, and here it is for you.


Italian Sausage Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound spicy sausage*
8-10 cups chicken stock
1 28-oz jar of spaghetti sauce**
2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 medium russet potatoes, diced
2 cups sliced carrots
1 16-oz bag frozen green beans, thawed
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
dried basil and oregano to taste

1) Heat olive oil in large soup pot. Add onion and saute for 1 minute; reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until translucent and soft.
2) Raise heat to medium, then add garlic and sausage. Cook sausage until no longer pink, crumbling into bite-sized pieces as you go.
3) Pour in stock, spaghetti sauce, and vinegar; bring to boil. Add potatoes and carrot, reduce heat, and simmer for 7-8 minutes or until tender.
4) Add green beans and chickpeas and warm through.
5) Season to taste: use plenty of salt (at least one teaspoon), add a bit more spaghetti sauce if you'd like, and be generous with the dried herbs. Serve with Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top. I think that sliced fruit and muffins are a good accompaniment.

*Both mild and spicy sausage make an excellent soup, so use whatever matches your mood!
**Choose one that's going to complement the other flavors in the soup. Anything from plain marinara to roasted garlic will work. I originally only called for half a jar, but I always end up putting the whole thing in. :)

Simple Lives Thursday.

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