I haven’t ever been much of a soup fan, but tonight I may have changed my mind. I threw together a minestrone-esque stew that was bursting with flavor and vegetables.
This is a flexible recipe. Use whatever veggies you like; you can’t really go wrong.
Vegetable Soup with Italian Sausage
2 oz. pancetta, or three slices of bacon
1 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cups chopped red cabbage
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1, 14-oz can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes (optional)
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. herbes de Provence (optional)
3 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup fresh green beans, chopped
1 can of white beans, drained
1 can of cannellini beans, drained
Grated parmesan cheese, for serving
Cut the pancetta or bacon into small pieces. Heat an enameled cast iron pot over medium-high heat and add the butter, olive oil, pancetta and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
Add the cabbage, celery, carrots and mushrooms and stir well till everything is thoroughly coated. Add a pinch of salt and lots of pepper. Stir occasionally until cabbage softens slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the bay leaves, herbes de Provence, tomatoes, and chicken stock. If needed, add water until everything is covered with an inch of liquid.
Turn heat to high, cover and bring to a simmer. Turn down heat and simmer for one hour.
Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a pan, breaking into bite-sized pieces. When sausage is cooked and drained, add to the soup and continue simmering for another hour or so.
Twenty minutes before serving add the zucchini and all the beans. Cook until green beans are tender.
Serve with a hefty sprinkling of parmesan cheese.