It has been a cool, damp and rainy week here in the Mid Atlantic. Perfect weather to have a hot steamy bowl of goodness! I have been going through various magazines to cut out recipes to try and found a couple versions of an Italian Sausage Vegetable Soup. I had everything in my house to make it and was eager to try it. Yesterday I got the opportunity to make it and it was so very good! I made it for my hubby, Father and myself and there isn’t much left (I always give my Father leftovers to take along home)! It filled up my 4 quart slow cooker and I will make it again. I decided to combine versions of the recipes’ various ingredients and created my own recipe for this soup. And things could be swapped out and changed to suit the taste buds, budget or the ingredients in my kitchen at any time. It may be a “soupy Saturday” where you live and you may want to make some for yourself too. 🙂
Italian Sausage Vegetable Soup
Take approximately 1 pound of Italian Sausage and boil in water until it is cooked (you may want to put a few knife holes in each piece so that it will cook better). Then take the sausage out of the water and either slice it up or take it out of the casing so that it is like ground beef pieces and place into a frying pan which has olive oil (or your oil of choice) heated in it and fry for a little while (until pieces are the way you like or some have browned, your choice). When almost finished frying, add in some minced garlic and diced onion (again, your choices). When the garlic and onion have heated for about 2-3 minutes, transfer everything to your crock pot.
To this meat mixture, add two 15-oz cans of beans/peas (I used one can of Northern Beans and one can of Black Eyed Peas; you could use whatever you like or have on hand), a quart of home-canned tomatoes (or a comparable size that you buy in the stores), carrots (as much as you want), roughly 2-3 cups of beef broth (or other broth you have or like), pinch of salt and pepper or other seasonings you prefer. Put on high for an hour or two and then low for 6 hours. Add in 1/4-1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning and some frozen or fresh chopped sweet peppers, frozen or fresh sliced zucchini and squash (I have frozen peppers, zucchini and squash from my garden last year). Keep on low until ready to eat (roughly two more hours). If you want, you could add spinach or kale at some point in the recipe. I didn’t have any this time but will try once I have some from my garden.
That is the rough outline of what I did to make the soup. As I’ve stated several times, use up what you have in your kitchen or what you like. You will have a delicious and warming soup!
To go with the soup, I also tried a new recipe from Better Homes and Garden magazine for Cheddar Herb Bread using white sharp cheddar cheese (I had some in my freezer) as well as dried rosemary (store bought) and my own dried parsley. That was a fantastic bread! I’m keeping that recipe too. It smelled so good in the kitchen when it was baking and I reheated my piece in the microwave at supper time and put on some butter; yummy!