This past week, we went north to Iowa and Minnesota for a newspaper conference and to visit some friends.
One of my wonderful friends, who has inexplicably given up her Kansas roots for the big city of Minneapolis, assured us that Minnesota is generally pretty mild in October, so we were excited to experience some nice, fall weather.
But, as often happens, Mother Nature had other plans, as we endured rain—and eventually snow—and some cold winds while we visited. It was still a great trip, but when the northerners are bundling up and complaining, you know you hit a weather anomaly.
We still had a great visit, despite the cold, and upon coming home, it reminded me that soup season is most definitely just around the corner.
With that in mind, this week’s recipe comes from “Parade” magazine and is by Donna Elick. You can find their original post at https://parade.com/217706/donnaelick/30-minute-italian-sausage-and-pepper-soup/. I added extra tomato paste to use an entire can, put in extra garlic, and I got rid of the added olive oil, since I figured the sausage would have enough grease for the pan on its own. I also added some more herbs.
Italian Sausage and Pepper Soup
- 1 pound spicy Italian rope sausage casing removed
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 4 bell peppers get a variety of colors, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 6-8 cloves garlic minced
- 2, 14.5- ounce cans Italian style diced tomatoes
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 8 cups chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh basil roughly chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley roughly chopped, or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Saute the sausage in the pan, breaking it apart as it browns, and add the onions as well. Stirring regularly.
- Once the sausage is cooked through, add the peppers and cook to your desired tenderness, continuing to stir often. Add the garlic and cook for an additional two minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and broth, and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any cooked-on bits.
- Bring the soup to a low boil. Add the salt and pepper, basil and parsley and allow to boil for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Serve with crusty bread.
The flavor of this soup was fantastic, and it was a really quick meal to make, too. It was a bit of a thin soup overall, though, so it would be a great side dish, or you should definitely serve it with some big, thick bread or rolls. Of course, it’s that same quality that makes it a good, lighter lunchtime option.
We didn’t end up ordering any soup while we were up north, opting instead for everything from a delicious Ecuadorian restaurant to coal-fired pizza and fresh fish and chips.
What we’ve learned about Minnesota over the years is you definitely can’t predict the weather, but you can count on some really good meals.
This piece first appeared in print on Oct. 17, 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.