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Sausage Minestra

soup ingredients

Ingredients:

  • olive oil, as needed
  • 2 lbs Italian Sausage, sliced into 1 inch thick pieces
  • 4 c onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 8 c chicken broth
  • 4 c tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 c orzo
  • 5 oz spinach

Method

Add oil to a large soup pot, add sausage  and cook at medium – high until browned.

Add onion, garlic and seasonings. Cook until onion is soft.

Add wine and cook until almost all liquid is evaporated.

Add broth, tomatoes and orzo. Bring to a boil.  Reduce and simmer about 10 minutes.

Stir in spinach until wilted.

For croutons: Cut bagette into 1 inch cubes. Brown in olive oil in saucepan. Toss, while warm, in grated parmesan. Add croutons to soup upon serving.

This soup is easy to make, hearty and savoury, satisfying to the soul.  It is perfect for a winter’s lunch when the sun glints hard off the snow and icicles think they should loosen their grip on water molecules. I used mild Italian Sausage from the local Farmers Market. I’d have gone for the spicy ones but for the teen. The croutons can be skipped, but they add such a flair to the soup it is hard to imagine it without. February Mmmm.

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polenta soup w/ besan croutons & smoked cheddar

Polenta Soup with Chickpea Croutons

Ingredients for soup

  • ¾c organic polenta
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 3c chicken stock
  • 3.5c water
  • ¼ lb dark leafy greens, roughly chopped (I used kale and some baby bok choy)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh thyme

Ingredients for croutons

besan batter - to the fridge!

  • 1c besan (chickpea flour aka gram flour)
  • 2c water
  • smoked paprika
  • olive oil
  • sea salt

First prepare the croutons. Combine water, boiled, with flour, sea salt and a generous sprinkle of paprika. Whisk until smooth and thick.

Spread besan batter on a greased baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 450F. Cut chilled batter into squares, and toss on baking sheet with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Broil for one minute until golden.

waiting for a simmer

Heat up a large soup pot, cook onions in oil for 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer. Stir in chicken broth and water; bring to a boil. Slowly add polenta while stirring. When fully incorporated, add chopped greens, salt, pepper and a few pinches of thyme. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Serve with chickpea croutons and garnish with a freshly grated nutty or smoky cheese.  I used a local applewood smoked cheddar but a pecorino would be fabulous too.

We enjoyed this filling, very satisfying soup.  The croutons were a lovely flavour.

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