With much of the country still within winter’s chilly grasp, it’s a great time of year for warm, comforting, and delicious soups. Enjoy!
ITALIAN SAUSAGE AND PASTA SOUP
From Nancy Jacobson at Chinaberry
1 pound of Italian sausage
2 small carrots, chopped (about 6 oz.)
1 onion, chopped (about 6 oz.)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1½ quarts of chicken broth (I use the Trader Joe’s organic)
1 14½ oz. can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can white beans (rinsed and drained)
½ tablespoon dried basil
1 cup dry pasta shells (or some kind of small shape)
2 quarts of fresh spinach leaves (about 6 oz.). I measure them by packing them into a quart measure
- Squeeze the sausages from casings into a 4-6 quart pan over high heat and brown, stirring often, breaking the pieces apart until crumbly (8-10 minutes). Drain all but one tablespoon of fat.
- Add carrots, onion, and garlic; stir often until onion is limp, 5-7 minutes.
- Add broth, tomatoes (including juice), beans, and basil and bring to a boil.
- * Add pasta, reduce heart, and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until pasta is just tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until just wilted, about 30 seconds.
- Serve with Parmesan cheese.
* Note: This is fine if you will be serving/eating it all at one sitting. I cook the pasta separately so that it’s not sitting in the leftover soup swelling up.
WINTER SQUASH AND KALE SOUP
Janet Kelly’s (Chinaberry) wonderful vegetarian soup was adapted from a recipe in Today’s Health & Wellness magazine.
1 tsp canola oil
1 small onion, chopped; or 1/3 cup frozen chopped onion
1 small red bell paper, cored, seeded, and chopped (about ½ cup)
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 14½-ounce can reduced-sodium diced tomatoes
2 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed kaboche, acorn, butternut, or blue Hubbard winter squash
1 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth
2 Tbs reduced-fat peanut butter
4 kale leaves (about 6 ounces), stemmed and shredded
¼ tsp salt
- Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Swirl in the canola oil, then add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened and aromatic, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the cayenne, cook 5 seconds, then stir in the tomatoes, squash, broth, and peanut butter until the peanut butter dissolves. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the squash is soft, about 15 minutes, stirring once in a while.
- Stir in kale, cover again, and cook until kale is tender and squash falls apart to thicken the soup, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and spoon into bowls. Serve at once.