My kitchen and garden are my refuges, solace in this time of anxiety. Are you sequestered at home? Our county put out Shelter-in-Place directives a couple of days ago. Here it is the first day of spring, and absolutely lovely out, but a dark cloud lies over everything. I worry about friends and family far away, how are they? I am not a big one for talking on the phone, much preferring face to face communication, but it has become my lifeline right now. How are you doing, what are you doing for comfort? The virtual world is one place to make connections with people.
I find making soup very comforting. And if you are going to make soup, you might as well make a big batch so you can put a quart or two in the freezer. It’s not any more work and then you have that lovely insurance for days you just don’t feel like cooking. It’s like money in the bank. This one came about because of an old friend’s message and it is a winner. It keeps several days in the fridge, and makes a large potful.
Here is the backstory:
A text requesting a specific soup recipe sent me searching through my old recipe files for a zucchini, sausage and tomato soup. One that did not have chicken or another broth. The appeal had come from my high school best friend, Abby, the recipe was a fondly remembered one from our childhood. Since our mothers had been best friends as well, she thought maybe I had inherited a copy from my mother. Regretfully I couldn’t find one, but a search of the WWW found a replica that fit her description.
Never being one to leave well enough alone, I had to take a walk down memory lane and make it myself. The basic recipe was Zucchini Soup III by Irene Yousey. Of course I did some tweaking, I think it is an improvement on the original.
The cool and rainy weather of March makes this a perfect month for soup. This one is substantial enough to be a full meal, it’s almost a stew. When life gets too insane, like the present moment, make soup. It is very therapeutic.
Italian Soup – AKA Sausage, Zucchini, and Tomato Soup
8 generous servings
- 1 pounds of bulk Italian sausage
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups of carrots (about 4 medium), cut into cubes of about 1/2 inch
- 1 large red pepper, cut into cubes of about 1/2 inch
- 1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes, preferably fire roasted, plus 1 can of water
- 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning (I didn’t have any) or
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds, ground
- 1 teaspoon of rosemary (I used 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary)
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 4 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes – optional
- 4 medium zucchini, chopped into 1/2 inch slices, large ones halved
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Chopped parsley and parmesan for serving
Other optional ingredients include canned white beans, cooked penne pasta, fresh tortellini, and fresh basil if you have some. This is a very pantry friendly soup.
- In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage, breaking it up and saute until browned. Drain any excess fat.
- Add the onion to the pot, saute until softened.
- Add the Italian seasoning with a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Add the garlic, saute for a minute, then add the chopped red pepper and carrots to the pot. Continue to saute for about 5 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and one can full of water. Bring to a simmer.
- Add the optional potatoes, cover, turn down the heat, and cook for about 30 minutes until the potatoes and carrots are softened but still holding their shape.
- Add the zucchini and continue to simmer until softened, about another 10 minutes.
- Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and/or parmesan
This soup can be frozen and it’s even better the second day.
Stay well, please also stay in touch. Your comments are always welcome. Let me know if you try this recipe.
I am taking this to a friend’s party on the www. It’s a virtual party ‘Fiesta Friday #320‘ hosted by Angie! Click on the link to read all the interesting things going on in the world of food and crafts.
If you would like to join us you can add your link at the bottom of the party page at FiestaFriday.net. I am cohosting this week with Angie and look forward to reading all your posts.
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