Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Group Soup

I am in a neighborhood book group, and yesterday was my turn to host!  For our group, that means that you choose the book and prepare a light meal at your house for the meeting.  I said a little prayer for fall weather (it had been in the 80's here - blech) and decided to serve soup and salad.  My prayers were answered!  A cool front came in during the afternoon and the temperatures dropped!  Perfect for soup!  Thank goodness, since we were having soup regardless!  I made Italian Sausage and Bean soup.  I found this recipe one day while at my favorite grocery store (HEB, for you Texans out there) with my sister.  They were sampling the soup and we both thought it was WAY too salty but had real potential.  Boy, am I glad we grabbed that recipe because it has become one of my favorites!  I think it may become one of your favorites, too!

In my personal opinion, this soup is even better the next day.  The flavors really come together and the broth thickens a bit.  So, if you are someone who likes leftovers, this is an awesome deal.  OR, if you like to plan ahead, cook up this soup the night before you want to serve it, stopping at the point before you would add the pasta.  Refrigerate overnight and then bring to a boil the next day, throw in the pasta, and VOILA!  Dinner is ready!

Italian Sausage and Bean Soup

2 TB olive oil, divided
1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed if in link form (can use turkey Italian sausage here!)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 TB minced garlic (around three medium cloves)
1 TB salt-free Italian seasoning (I recommend Penzey's Tuscan Sunset - YUM)
5-6 cups chicken stock
1 can Italian-style diced tomatoes (no salt added)
1 can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup elbow macaroni or dilatini (which looks like small tubes)


Heat 1 TB olive oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat.  Add the sausage and cook until browned, breaking up the sausages into small pieces with the edge of a wooden spoon.  Remove to a paper-towel lined shallow bowl and set aside.

Add remaining oil to the same pot, and saute the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and Italian seasoning.  Cook 7-9 minutes, until the veggies are tender.  Return the sausage to the pot.

Stir in the broth, starting with the lower amount.  Add the tomatoes and beans.  Bring soup to a full boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes uncovered.

Before serving, bring soup to a full boil and add pasta.  Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the pasta is al dente.  Check the pasta package for an idea as to how much time this might take, though probably around 10 minutes.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, and /or crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.
Printable Recipe

I think you could call this a minestrone soup, actually.  I am not sure why not. And I like that name better, so I think from now on I'll call this minestrone soup.  You look at the ingredients, do you agree that it is essentially a minestrone? 

Just in case you are wondering, we discussed the book, The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom.  It was my second time reading it, and I enjoyed it just as much this time!  I highly recommend!

I hope you enjoy some hot soup on a nice cool fall day!

1 comment:

Due to some bizarre spam comments I have recently received, I am moderating the comments for a while. I hope this spam craziness stops so this becomes unnecessary!