I recently came across a photo of an adorable indoor herb garden and immediately became interested in having one myself.
I’m not much of a gardener, and I’m enough of a nerd that I love research, so I have spent more time than I’d like to admit over the past few weeks looking at which herbs are easiest to grow indoors and what kind of skill each one requires to keep alive.
Then I went shopping for the ingredients for this week’s recipe, and all my planning to really map out my herb choices went out the window when I realized that it was going to cost me an arm and a leg to purchase the two cups of fresh basil the recipe required.
I noticed, though, that my produce department had fresh basil plants for a much more economical price than the small packages of leaves in the refrigerator case, and I caved.
So now I have a basil plant, which graciously delivered lots of fragrant leaves on its first night at my house. I hope I can keep the poor thing alive.
This recipe comes from the website “The Slow Roasted Italian.” You can find the original post at https://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2013/09/30-Minute-Hearty-Italian-Basil-Sausage-Soup-Recipe.html. I changed up the spices a bit in my version and simplified the directions some.
Italian Basil Sausage Soup
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound mild Italian sausage
- 3 carrots diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 15- ounce can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
- 14.5- ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 8- ounce can tomato sauce
- 6- ounce can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 pound small pasta I used macaroni
- 2 cups fresh basil chopped
- In a stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, carrots and celery. Stir regularly, breaking up the sausage as you go (You can also use rope sausage. Just remove the casing and slice it into half-inch rounds before adding it to the pot.)
- Once the sausage is cooked through, add the chicken broth, beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and spices.
- Stir to combine and bring the mixture up to a boil.
- Once the soup is boiling, add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes (or until the pasta is done to your liking), stirring regularly to keep the soup from sticking to the bottom.
- Reduce heat and serve once the mixture is no longer boiling.
I have been in search of some good soups to toss in the freezer for the plethora of nights when Joey and I either need to have a quick dinner or pack something to eat at the office for a late night of work. This recipe definitely fits the bill, and it’s filling several containers in my freezer at the moment.
I poured a little water on my basil plant this morning, where it sits in front of my kitchen window. If all goes well, it will eventually be replanted into an adorable pot, along with some other choice herbs.
If not, I might just stick to dried basil from here on out.
You’d think that having a 10-year-old schnauzer and a one-year-old beta fish would make me feel confident that I can keep something alive, but to be fair, I did a lot of research before adding both of them to our family, too.
Wish me—and my new plant—luck. We’ll both need it.
This piece first appeared in print on Sept. 5, 2019.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.