Tuscan Sausage Soup

We’re having sort of a rough time of it, food-wise, in our household lately. Both V and I are attempting to diet, and for him, this means eating a lot of protein. (I haven’t really determined yet what it means for me – apparently so far, not much.) We all know I cook a lot of pasta, which has dubious nutritional value…but I also cook a lot of spinach, which has good protein…I’m just starting to run out of ideas because I have a certain comfort zone when it comes to cooking. HELP! This isn’t good!

I found this one on Foodgawker awhile ago and for some reason had never made it, even though it incorporates several of my favorite things. It seemed like a good choice for tonight, and it was – very hearty and very satisfying. I believe V found it to be sufficiently protein-rich.

tuscan sausage soup

don’t mind the weird spinach stem sticking out.

Tuscan Sausage Soup

(adapted from Dainty Chef)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • about 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz can cannellini or navy beans
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 lb small pasta such as elbows or shells
  • 3 or 4 oz baby spinach
  • grated Parmesan

Directions

Cut up the Italian sausage into slices about a half-inch thick. Put a little bit of olive oil in the bottom of a deep, large pan and add the sausage slices. After letting it brown for a few minutes, add your chopped onion, carrots, and minced garlic. Cook for a few minutes until softened. Add the broth, diced tomatoes, beans, basil, Italian seasoning, and pasta; bring to a boil and then let it simmer for 7-10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente-ish. Add in the baby spinach and stir around until it wilts. Serve with however much parmesan your little heart desires.

Notes

I love how simple this recipe is, and I love that it’s another one where the pasta cooks in the same pot as everything else so I’m only getting one pan dirty. It’s the little things, I tell you.

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Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Three posts in four days?!? Man oh man. I guess I’m taking to this blogging thing more than I thought I would – plus, it motivates me to actually cook stuff. Today we have another rather non-glamorous dinner, but it felt right for today, after eating a heavy Easter lunch at my grandma’s…although, truth be told, this soup is somewhat on the rich side, rather heavy on the butter and cheese. No surprise I like it so much.

This is actually also another slow cooker meal. I feel like I use crockpots in a different manner than most people – it’s supposed to be a convenience, a “throw it all in in the morning and come home to dinner all ready” but as I’ve mentioned, I don’t pull that off too often. Apparently I use it more on the weekends. Anyhoo…let’s get to it.

tbps

This soup doesn’t photograph well…sorry.

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

(adapted from PinFoody)

Ingredients

  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 32 oz box vegetable broth
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups half-and-half, room temperature
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Add first 8 ingredients (through the bay leaf) to the crockpot and stir well. Cook on LOW for 5-7 hours.

About 45 minutes before you want to serve, prepare what the fancy folks call a “roux”: melt the butter in a skillet over low heat. Add flour and whisk constantly for about 5 minutes. Pour a cup of the hot soup into the skillet and mix; add three more cups and stir. Pour it all back into the crockpot and add parmesan cheese and warmed half-and-half. Stir everything well; you might need to add more seasoning since the soup has been cooking for so long.

Cook it for another 30 minutes on low. Serve with a baguette warm from the oven. This soup is freaking fantastic for bread-dipping.

Notes

I personally feel the baguette/other similar bread is a crucial accompaniment. That’s really about it!

Minestrone Soup

V and I are watching “Chopped” on the Food Network. We’ve literally never watched anything on the Food Network before, but whaddaya know, it’s really enjoyable! And…stressful! You wouldn’t think it’d be that interesting or that dramatic, but it totally is, and they’re using all these crazy ingredients I’ve never heard of. Mamey? (apparently a fruit) Duck tongue? Okay I know what duck tongue IS, but…

Anyway – not relevant. We are a little more humble here at Sconnie Sustenance. Minestrone is pretty damn humble and is insanely easy to make. It’s kind of my go-to dinner when I a) don’t have a lot of food in the house, b) don’t want meat and c) want something healthy. Fortunately, these are all ingredients I pretty much always have on hand.

minestrone

Minestrone Soup

(adapted from Cookie Monster Cooking)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 32 oz box of vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you don’t care about keeping it vegetarian)
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into quarters
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup dried elbow macaroni (or shells, or something similar)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • as much grated parmesan cheese as you please

Directions

Heat the oil in a large deep pot. While it warms, chop up your onion and then add to the pan, along with the garlic. Swirl it around so as not to burn.

Pour in the box of vegetable broth and can of diced tomatoes. Add diced carrots, sliced zucchini, and chopped celery as well as the basil, oregano and sugar. Put the lid halfway on the pot and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Once 20 minutes is up, add the elbow macaroni and cook for another 8-10 minutes.

Finally, add in your drained and rinsed black beans and salt and pepper. Stir it up good and pour into bowls. Now, this next part is my personal favorite: shake as much parmesan cheese as you want over that bowl. It probably goes without saying that I prefer a heavy hand with the parm. It’s all the better if you buy a quality bag of grated parmesan.

Notes

The original recipe also called for 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar. The first time I made the recipe, I followed those directions and did not care for the taste the balsamic vinegar imparted on the soup. Too tart. I really don’t recommend using it.

Also, the original recipe did not include any celery, I just added that because I had some I needed to use up. And it called for 5 cups (40 oz) of vegetable broth, but the package of broth boxes that I get from Costco come in 32 oz containers, and 32 oz has worked just fine for me thus far.

Try it and let me know how you like it!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Sorry for the long absence – I’m sure you’ve been just devastated 😉

In the colder months, I make a lot of soups. I’ve already given you my beloved lasagna soup recipe. I also have a great one for minestrone. Tonight, we do chicken tortilla soup. Super simple, super fast, super yummy.

chicken tortilla soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

(adapted from Eat Drink Love)

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 of a large yellow onion, diced
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 oz corn (canned or frozen)
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • broken-up tortilla chips

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Toss in the diced onion and cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Add black beans and corn, then each of the spices. Stir to coat.

Meanwhile, dice your chicken breasts into small pieces. Alternatively, you could use already-cooked rotisserie chicken and shred it; that would probably be more “authentic” but I chose to dice it and cook it in a pan separately.

Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth (really doesn’t matter which – I ended up mixing some of both because of what I had already open/handy) as well as the diced tomatoes. Add in the chicken, however you’ve chosen to prepare it. Stir it all well, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

When the time is up, serve the soup in bowls and garnish with broken tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream – whatever floats your boat.

Notes

I (approximately) doubled the spice measurements from the original recipe and honestly, still found it a bit too bland. So go nuts with the chili powder, the cayenne pepper, the paprika.

I’m aware the photo is absolutely terrible, and I said I’d get better, not worse…the trouble is I can’t find the uploader thingmajig for my camera so I’m stuck using my iPhone. SOMEDAY, it will get better. 🙂