Full of hearty meats and veggies and bursting with comforting flavors, soups are little pots of culinary wonder.
I've been thinking about making this soup since August, that is how much in love with it I am. The ingredients are fairly basic, and the prep and assembly straightforward. But the results are nothing near that. Every time I make this soup, it is dipped in to for "a sample bowl" before it is even done simmering, that's how aromatic and enticing this recipe is.
I started playing around with this recipe several years ago during my first foray into grain-free eating. The inspiration for this soup is Bertucci's Sausage Soup. If you haven't had it, you should. It is pretty remarkable. However, it is loaded with sodium and also, they make theirs with (gasp!) rice. So when I first started cutting out grains, and needed a soup, I thought this would be a good place to start. Nix the rice, up the veggies, and bam! You've got yourself a go-to paleo/grain-free/gluten-free soup to get you through the winter.
So without further ado, I give you my Famous Sausage Soup.
What you'll need:
1 cup of chopped onion
1 cup of chopped carrots
1 cup of chopped celery
6 sweet Italian sausage (I prefer pork but chicken has worked as well)
1 large can of San Marzano diced tomatoes
4 cups of chicken broth
4 cups of beef broth
1 teaspoon of ground thyme
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of coarse ground pepper
Pinch of sea salt
2 bay leaves
A word on quality: Go for the good stuff here (and always, in general). No Johnsonville pre-packaged stuff. Hit up Whole Foods or Tilly's for the highest quality produce and meats. Whole Foods has their own in house sausage meisters - no I'm not kidding. I've made this soup with both pork and chicken sausage. My preference is for the pork, as it has just a bit more depth in flavor than chicken. But if your diet requires more lean protein than not, go for the chicken. You can also spice it up with spicy Italian sausage!
As I sit here to type this, I realize that I've never actually written a recipe before. I've written emails and texts to friends, but I've never actually taken the time to write intelligible, step by step directions for how to cook something. So this could be interesting… here goes!
Two things to note here. First, did you know that this veggie combo is called "mirepoix"? There, you learned something today, if nothing else! Secondly, if you don't have a Slap Chop, or a similar device, I highly recommend getting one. I'm serious. These things are amazing. I have the Pampered Chef version, and I can't imagine not having it in my life. Such a time saver! Check it out.
Anyway…. Chop up your veggies and put them into the pot. This is going to be a long recipe at this rate…
You'll want to remove them from their casing. There is no glamorous way to do this (or say this really). Just squeeze the sausage out of the casing. Yup, there you have it.
5. Cook the sausage until it is no longer pink , breaking it up as it cooks so that it is crumbled
6. Add the can of San Marzano diced tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil.
7. Add the chicken and beef broth, and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
8. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for at least one hour. If you notice you're losing too much liquid, cover the pot.
I tend to simmer my soup for long periods of time. I love how it makes my house smell, and I usually am doing 800 other things so leaving it on the stove to cook until I'm ready to eat works well for me. This soup is also exponentially more delicious the next day, once all the flavors have had a chance to meld together over night. Note that the next day, there will likely be a layer of semi-hard oil on the top of the soup. You can very easily skim this off and throw away.
I serve this soup with paleo naan, another recipe I'll post eventually. It's great with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese if you allow cheese in your diet/can tolerate dairy.