Warm Your Soul Soup

It's been cold and raining lots here in sunny California. This weather just makes me want to sit around in sweats, drinking coffee and watching the Food Network channel all day. Wait, how's that different from what I want to do every other day?

When we're all chilled and I don't mind hanging out over the stove for a while, soup is a great option for lunch or dinner, or both. Here's one I whipped up and thought I'd share....

Italian Sausage and Bean Soup
6 servings

1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalk celery, diced
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed and broken into small bits
1 Tbl olive oil
1 can dark red kidney beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed
1 can light red kidney beans (15 oz), drained and rinsed
2 cups canned or jar spaghetti sauce (not tomato sauce)
3 cups chicken broth (more if you want it "soupier")
2 sprigs fresh thyme

In large stock pot, my favorite to use for any soups and stews is this enamel coated cast iron pot, add olive oil and brown sausage over medium heat. Make sure you break up the sausage as much as possible while it's cooking. When it's cooked through, remove it from the pot and keep it on a plate until you add back into the soup later. In the sausage drippings (I had very little fat; if it looks like a lot, take some out before adding vegetables.), add onion, carrots and celery. Saute over medium heat until vegetables are browned and partially tender, about 20 minutes. Add in the zucchini and saute another 5 minutes or so. To the vegetables, add beans and sausage. Add in the spaghetti sauce and broth. Start with the 3 cups of broth and decide if you want to thin it further a little later on. Stir everything well, add the fresh thyme and cover. Cook over low heat for at least an hour. When veggies are nice and tender, remove the thyme sprigs and serve. Garnish with a sprinkling of grated parmesean cheese.

**If you don't have fresh thyme, don't worry. There are enough spices in the sausage and spaghetti sauce that the soup will be nicely seasoned. I didn't even have to add salt and pepper. This soup tastes really good the next day!


Dotty Jo said...

That looks really yummy Amber, I am a big fan of soups so might give this a try! Jo x

Anonymous said...

Looks amazing..

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the perfect pear said...

oh this looks so delicious. Definitley a soul warmer, I can just tell!
I'd love it if you'd check out my blog :)