Italian Sausage, Noodle and Spinach Soup

Last week, the “real feel” in the Midwest was -40 degrees F.  I had a few appointments so I was forced to leave my house and within minutes my hands felt like I had been outside skiing for an entire day.  It was FREEZING!   And, while the temperatures have warmed up to a balmy 35 degrees (practically a tropical heat wave), I think my body is still thawing out because I feel the need for multiple hot beverages every day and a warm bowl of soup at night for dinner.

I made this particular soup on Tuesday and it was hearty and spicy- everything you would want on a sub arctic type of day.  The whole soup is packed with flavor since even the noodles are cooked in the rich broth.   You could, however, certainly make extra soup for leftovers if you cook the noodles separately and only add them to the portion of soup you plan on eating.   Otherwise, your noodles will continue to absorb liquid until they are a mushy mess.

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Italian Sausage, Noodle and Spinach Soup 

Ingredients:

2 tbsp grapeseed oil

1 sweet onion, diced

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup white wine

5 cups low-sodium chicken stock

1 pound spicy italian chicken sausage

1 28 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes

1 cup small pasta of your choice (I used a gluten-free version)

4 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped

1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese, plus more for sprinkling

Directions:

Saute sausage, onions, garlic and red pepper in grapeseed oil over medium heat.  Break the sausage apart as it cooks.  Once the sausage is browned and cooked through (about 6-8 minutes), add the wine and cook until it has evaporated.  Add the tomatoes and break apart with a wooden spoon.  Next, add the chicken broth.  Bring the soup to a boil and add the pasta.  Cook for 8-10 minutes until the pasta is al dente (Note: if you want to freeze part of the soup, skip this step and cook the pasta separately so you can add it as needed).   Once the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the spinach just until wilted.  Stir in the cheese and serve.  Garnish with additional cheese as desired.

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Tomato Basil Soup

   Yep, it’s soup season and I could not be more excited!  I’ve had a few soups up my sleeve I’ve been wanting to share with you, but I figured I wouldn’t be inspiring anyone with a warm and toasty soup recipe on a 90 degree day.  This past week, though, I have busted out a few soups because the nights are cool and there is a crisp, fall sort of feeling in the air.

   I don’t even need know where to start with the deliciousness of this soup.  It rivals any tomato basil soup I have ever gotten in a restaurant and is far better than any other tomato soup I have ever made.  It hits all those comfort food notes that you want in a tomato soup and yet has a sophistication and depth that makes it fancy enough to serve with a nice meal.  What more do I need to say to convince you to make this soup?!?!  You will not be disappointed!

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   One of the things that makes this soup unique is that you roast the tomatoes with garlic and olive oil before adding them to the soup.  By doing this, the tomatoes and the garlic take on a sweet note and a caramelized flavor.   You can use any type of tomatoes you want, but I personally like to use a variety.

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      Once the tomatoes have roasted, put them in a pot where you have sauteed some onions.  Add chicken broth (or vegetable broth) and a large handful of basil and bring the pot to a boil.  Turn the pot to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Tomato Basil Soup (from Heather Christo)

Ingredients:

6lbs tomatoes
8 garlic cloves, whole in paper
1/4 cup of olive oil

2 Tbs butter
2 large yellow onions (roughly chopped)
handful of basil
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup half and half
kosher salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat tomatoes and garlic in olive oil and 1 tsp kosher salt and place on a baking sheet.  Roast for 30 min.  Pull out of the oven to cool slightly.  Meanwhile, saute the onions and butter until softened.  Remove the garlic from the paper and put garlic, tomatoes and all their juices in the pot.  Add a large handful of fresh basil and the chicken broth to the pot.  Bring to a boil and then lower the temperature to low and simmer for 30 minutes.  Use an emersion blender to blend all the ingredients together until smooth.  Add 1 cup half and half and salt to taste.  Serve warm.     

 

 

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  Use an emersion blender to blend the soup together and then add a cup of half and half  to the soup.   Warm through and serve with grilled cheese or garlic bread.

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