Much of the East Coast is getting bogged down with rain today. And, I’m feeling it. I made and photographed this recipe a couple of weeks ago – and meant to share it last week. However, I lost a very close friend last week kind of suddenly. I say “I” – but I really mean our whole community – as everyone is mourning the loss of our dear Laura. I haven’t really felt like doing much of anything the past few days, besides moping around the house, with the occasional uncontrollable sobbing. I’m getting there. Grief just sucks, ya’ll.
Needless to say, a couple of rainy days to stay in my pajamas is just what the doctor ordered. Figured I could at least take a few minutes to share this recent recipe find with you guys! And, what better meal is there to enjoy on days like this, than a warm bowl of filling soup?
I came across this recipe in the Loaves & Fishes cookbook by Anna Pump, another favorite which was lurking in the “lost pile”. All of her cookbooks are phenomenal. She was a close friend of our Majesty The Queen (Ina Garten) and collaborated at Barefoot Contessa in the Hamptons with Ina for years, as well as running her own successful shop and bed & breakfast. She too passed rather suddenly back in 2015, and I will always treasure the books and recipes she left behind. But, I digress… As I’d mentioned, I made this substantial soup a couple of weeks ago now – and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since!
It came together really quickly, with simple ingredients that are easy to find – or you may even have on hand already. It was also really quick to cook too. Most soups take ALL DAY to have a really deep flavor. But the addition of two kinds of sausage, both ground and link, really pack a punch in that department – yielding a soup that tastes like its simmered for hours, in less than one.
I served it along side some warm crusty rolls and a simple fresh green salad to round out the meal. Everyone really enjoyed it, and it will definitely be one I make again soon! Might try adding cannellini beans the next go-round.
Italian Sausage Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
5 links sweet Italian sausage (1 package)
12 oz hot bulk pork sausage (1 tube – I like Jimmy Dean)
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups dry red wine (Pinot Noir or Merlot)
6 cups chicken stock
1 tsp dried oregano
3 zucchini, diced
1 cup orzo
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
fresh basil or parsley, chopped (for garnish)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish – optional)
Heat oil in 5-quart dutch oven over medium heat, add the link sausage and cook for about 6 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Remove and set aside to cool. Once cool, slice into 1/2-inch slices.
Meanwhile, add the bulk sausage to the same pan, breaking up with a spoon to brown evenly. Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until cooked through. Remove to plate and set aside. Discard all but 2 Tbsp of fat from the pan.
Return pan to heat and add the onions, green pepper, carrots, and garlic – saute for about 3 minutes until onions are starting to soften. Add the tomatoes, wine, chicken stock, zucchini, oregano, salt, pepper, and both kinds of sausage back to the pan. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil – about 10 minutes.
Once soup is boiling add the orzo, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in fresh basil or parsley before serving. Season to taste with salt.
Serve with bowl of grated parmesan cheese for sprinkling, if you like.
*If you have leftover Parmesan rinds saved, this soup is a great place to use it! Just toss it in when you add the liquids.