Friday, March 20, 2015

Cooking for 2: Several Italian Sausage Soups

Here are a few recipes that will be included in my upcoming book later this year.  If you don't like hot Italian Sausage, then substitute mild Italian Sausage. Hope you enjoy them!
Creamy Italian Sausage and Potato Soup
1/3 lb. hot Italian sausage
1 cup diced potatoes (I diced them small)
½ can or 7/8 cup of Swanson beef broth
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
½ cup fresh spinach, sliced in ½ inch widths
1 Tablespoon diced onion
¼ cup whipping cream
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top
Fry Italian sausage in a small frying pan until fully cooked through.  Drain and place in a 2 quart saucepan.  Put beef broth in sauce pan.  Dice potatoes and put them in the sauce pan.  Add Italian seasoning and diced onion.  Bring to a boil on a medium heat and then simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes until potatoes are done but still firm.  Add sliced spinach and stir.  Cook a couple of extra minutes, Add ¼ cup whipping cream and stir.  Serve in bowls with Parmesan cheese on top.

Mama’s Hot Lasagna Soup
1/3 pound hot Italian sausage
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
½ can or 7/8 cup Swanson beef broth
½ can Italian diced tomatoes
½ cup cooked rotini noodles
Grated mozzarella cheese for sprinkling on top
Grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top
Small spoonful of Ricotta cheese
Fry Italian Sausage in a small frying pan until fully cooked through.  Drain and place into a 2 quart saucepan.  Add beef broth, diced tomatoes, onion and Italian seasoning.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 25-30 minutes.  Pour soup into bowls.  Add a little bit of cooked pasta.  Don’t add the pasta until right before eating or it will absorb all the liquid.  Grate mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top.  Add a dollop of Ricotta cheese.  Serve and enjoy!

Chunky Italian Wedding Soup
1/3 lb. Italian sausage
1 Tablespoon diced onion
½ can or 7/8 cup Swanson beef broth
½ cup fresh spinach, sliced into ½ inch widths
¼ to ½ cup cooked Orzo
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top
Cook Orzo according to directions.  Fry Italian sausage in a small frying pan until fully cooked through.  Drain and place into a 2 quart saucepan.  Add beef broth and onion.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 25-30 minutes.  Add spinach and cook for 3 more minutes.  Place in bowls and add desired amount of cooked Orzo.  Don’t try to take a short cut by cooking the Orzo in the soup.  It will absorb the liquid and be more of a pasta side dish instead.  

Chunky Italian Soup
This recipe turned out a lot better than I had anticipated.  I had some extra Italian sausage and decided to make a soup since I made it in the wintertime.  This is a good recipe to get your family to eat veggies since the taste of the Italian sausage is so full of flavor and overpowers the other flavors in the soup. 
½ can or 7/8 cup beef broth
½ can Italian diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (I bought this in bulk)
1/3 to ½ pound ground hot Italian sausage
½ cup great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 ½ to 2 cups sliced and diced veggies from the following:  onion, celery, carrots, zucchini squash and yellow summer squash.  (I used ¼ stalk celery, ½ carrot, 2 Tablespoons onion, and 1 ½ cups squash)
½ to 1 cup cooked pasta
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown Italian sausage in a small frying pan until cooked completely.  In a 2 quart sauce pan, pour in the beef broth, diced tomatoes and Italian seasoning.  Add the cooked Italian sausage.  Slice or dice the veggies of your choice from the list given and put them in the pan.  You can cut them very small or leave them a bit larger.  It doesn’t make a difference.  Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until veggies are tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.  Add the cooked pasta right before you are about to serve.  I would just put a little in each bowl and not put it in the pan with all of the soup in case you have leftovers.  The pasta will absorb the liquid and make it too thick.  You can also put the soup in the bowls and let people serve the amount of pasta they want themselves.  Top it off with grated parmesan cheese.