I have sort of a love hate relationship with soups that have pasta in it. To me, once you add pasta to a soup it becomes more of a stew because the starch would thicken the broth and suck up all the liquid. I like more liquids than chunks of ingredients. But this soup, I must say, has both of what I prefer and I’ll tell you why. I precooked the pasta before adding to the soup so it won’t be so thick.
Some people like it thick and that’s okay…to each their own. This sausage soup is a meal in its own and a ‘one-pot’ dish if you didn’t have to pre-cook the pasta like me. But it is hearty and warming, not to mention…you can put loads of veges in it. It does sound more like a minestrone combined with Italian sausages. How this idea came about was when I was shopping for some variation of sausages. The Italian sausages sold here were a bit measly with their size, like sausages the thickness of my thumb. So I was thinking in my head how do I make the most, MOST out of it.
I’ve put them in quiches and fritatas and now this soup. If you take the seasoned minced meat out of its casings, you do get more out of your buck. This portion of soup is enough to feed like 8 people. Italian sausages have prominent seasoning and herb flavour so it’s perfect for stews, soups and casserole bakes. I didn’t even think to add more herbs because the sausages itself already has a strong taste of it.
ITALIAN SAUSAGE SOUP RECIPE
300 gms Italian sausages (peel off skin, take meat out)
4 rashes of bacon (chopped)
2 sticks celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 liters of chicken stock
1 can of diced tomatoes (I actually blend it to be slightly finer than chunks)
4 tablespoons of tomato puree (my own home blend, the store bought ones are fine too)
1 heap tablespoon of tomato paste
1 cup of diced zucchini
100 gms baby spinach
1 handful of Rotini pasta (cooked)
Shredded Parmesan cheese
1. In a pan of high heat, cook the bacon with some olive oil. When the fat starts rendering out, add the minced sausage meat and cook till browned.
2. Take out the browned meat. Blend the celery, onion and carrot together. I like it quite fine.
3. Add more olive oil if necessary, cook the blended vegetables with minced garlic till the water has evaporated and the vegetables have colour.
3. Add your chicken stock. Add the can of diced tomatoes, the tomato puree and tomato paste. The paste is more for colour.
4. Let it come to a boil. Add back the cooked bacon and sausage meat.
5. Add your cooked pasta. Add the diced zucchini and baby spinach. These two vegetables cook quickly, I also like to still retain the zucchini crunch.
6. Season with black pepper and salt.
7. Serve with chopped parsley and Parmesan.