Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Simple Sausage Soup

This one came out of no where.  I had the ingredients kicking around in the fridge and freezer and decided that they would taste good together.  Low and behold I was right.  Tonight I fed it to hubs for the first time and he loved it as well so now it is time to publish it.

It is a simple idea of combining sausage, pasta and leafy green veg.  You can use all sorts of combinations of the three but I've found the most tasty to be mild Italian sausage and fresh cheese pasta from the local Italian grocer combined with kale or spinach.  The ingredient amounts are rough estimates since that is how I roll.  This isn't baking so we can be loose about things.

serves 3

2c Basic Chicken Stock
2c filtered water
~1lb sweet Italian sausage (one large link or several small ones)
~2 cups shredded kale (two small leaves or one large leaf)
~6oz fresh cheese tortellini
generous pinch dried thyme
generous pinch dried marjoram
Celtic sea salt
fresh ground pepper

  1. Remove casing from sausage and discard.
  2. Cut sausage into 1/2" thick disks and cut the disks in half.  I found scissors to work remarkably well for both the casing removal and sausage chopping.  If you like you can roll the sausage into little balls but this isn't necessary.
  3. Tear kale into bite sized pieces.
  4. If you have thin stock, use 4c and don't dilute with water.  My stock tends to be very strong so I cut it in half with water as this is a mild soup and I don't want the stock to overpower the other ingredients.
  5. Add sausage and kale to stock along with seasonings and bring to a rolling boil.
  6. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.  Fresh pasta will only take a couple of minutes tops.
  7. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.
Variations that I've tried and liked so far: chicken apple sausage, cheese tortellini and spinach or kale; sweet Italian sausage, cheese/prosciutto tortellini and kale.  You see the general theme here.  You want the spicy of the sausage combining with the creamy soft pasta.  The green veg helps more with eye appeal and nutrition than taste.  If you use spinach toss it in right before serving so that it only blanches rather than turning to mush.  Kale needs the longer cooking time to soften up.  This could also be made with GF pasta but I haven't found any tortellini in my area.

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