The weather is getting cooler and I’m starting to crave soup. Two nights ago I made The Pioneer Woman’s Corn Chowder (with less chilies), but most of the time I want something lighter, healthier, and lunchier. It’s 7 months before the wedding and I’ve finally decided to start watching my figure, you see. This recipe isn’t a riff on anybody’s anything- it’s just something I made up. It started as a Minestrone, but it’s so easy that I’ve made it in a bunch of permutations. It’s really just a bunch of vegetables and a starch (potatoes or noodles) cooked up in chicken stock and a can of crushed tomatoes. I highly recommend that you make this the day or morning before you eat it, then stick it in the fridge to let the flavors really meld and sink in. The sitting time will keep the flavors delicate but interesting. Definitely worth the wait.
Vegetable Soup with Sausage (makes 5 bowls)
- 3 Italian sausages, removed from casing (I used 2 sweet, 1 spicy)
- Olive oil
- 1 shallot or onion, diced
- 2 carrots, chopped into rounds
- 1 potato, peeled and diced OR 2 cups cooked pasta, any small shape (I like elbows or little bowties)
- 24 oz. chicken stock
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 6+ mushrooms, sliced
- 5 heads of Baby bok choy, with ends removed (or several cups of a green vegetable- spinach, kale, cabbage, etc.)
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
- Dried herbs- A sprinkle of each Basil, Oregano, and Marjoram
- 1 Bay Leaf, if desired
- Salt & Pepper
Cook sausage in a frying pan, breaking into small bits. Put a drizzle of olive oil in the soup pot. Place onion/shallot, carrots, and potato (if using) into the frying pan and brown slightly for 3-5 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add all other ingredients except cooked pasta (if using) and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until all ingredients are slightly tender. Put in the fridge for 8+ hours. Just before serving, remove bay leaf and garlic cloves and add cooked pasta.