Hearty sausage soup made with a little red wine and chicken stock along with fresh sage, carrots, and spinach.
Hearty Sausage Soup
As it is every time I sit down to write about soup the same phrase finds its way onto the page: I love making soup. After eight years one might think I’d be tired of it because while there are many, many ways to make soup the process is generally the same – chop some veggies, add some liquid, and simmer until done. But, it’s more than just the steps that take a soup from idea to reality – there’s some kind of therapeutic magic that happens through the whole process. From the rhythmic chopping to the heady scent from the aromatics as they sizzle in the pan, to the gentle stirring all lead up to what might be considered the grand finale – tucking into a warm and cozy bowl that warms you from the inside out.
This version – a hearty sausage soup – started with me gazing mindlessly into a fridge filled with odds and ends. It wasn’t until I focused on the leftover Italian sausage that a plan fell into a place. As a rule, I keep chicken stock on hand because experience has taught me that soup is, by far, the best way to put leftover ingredients to good use. And so I pulled those sausage links from the fridge and grabbed a box of chicken stock from the pantry. From there, the plan came together. The sausage hit the hot pan first followed by some onion, garlic, and fresh sage. A splash of red wine leftover from some other creation earlier in the week bubbled and simmered loosening all the browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. Next, some wayward carrots fished out from the dark recess of the produce drawer along with some frozen chopped spinach joined in the fun. Tomato sauce and chicken stock turned it all into a soup and from there it simmered on the stove until it reduced and all the flavors had time to mix, mingle and get to know each other. Just at the end, and this is an important step, I added a little apple cider vinegar. It adds a pop of brightness that balances out the richness of the soup.
I love a little freshness so some chopped parsley served as a garnish along with a sprinkling grated provolone because a little cheese is never a bad idea.
And that’s the story of this sausage soup. It’s a cold-weather warmer and hearty enough for dinner especially with some crusty bread on the side.
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 cup diced red onion (about 1/2 a large onion)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (from 3-4 large cloves)
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup red wine (like a cabernet or pinot noir)
- 2 large carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch coins
- 6 ounces frozen chopped spinach
- 8 ounce canned tomato sauce
- 32 ounces chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup grated provolone cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the sausage and brown it using a spatula to break it up into bite-sized pieces. Once the sausage is browned add the onions, garlic, sage, oregano, and salt and stir. Let it all cook for about five minutes or so. Pour the wine into the pot and, using a spatula, scrape up the browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Simmer the wine until it mostly evaporates, stirring frequently.
- Add the carrots, chopped spinach, tomato sauce and chicken stock and stir it all together. Raised the heat and bring the pot to a strong simmer. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes or until the carrots are fork tender. Skim the fat from the surface of the soup and discard. Stir in the apple cider vinegar.
- Garnish each serving with the grated provolone and fresh parsley.
- Calories: 489
- Fat: 31.5g
- Carbohydrates: 18.9g
- Fiber: 3.5g
- Protein: 31.9g