Sunday, February 26, 2012

Summer in a Soup

For me, a quintessential summer meal is sausage and peppers. My husband grills the sausage and I love the pepper mixture he makes, cooking the peppers and onions down in a tomato sauce. Serve on a good, crusty roll, and you have the perfect summer meal.

But what's a gal to do during the winter months? Oh, sure, you can make it in the oven or slow cooker, but it's just not the same. So when I saw Rachael Ray take the flavors in an entirely different direction, I knew I had to give it a try.


Yes, you read that right. Soup. And really what better way to usher those summer flavors into winter than with a quintessential winter meal? (I made quite a few modifications, though, but I think the recipe only benefits from it.)

Sausage, Peppers and Onion Soup
A modified Rachael Ray recipe

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs. bulk Italian sausage
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 15-ounce cans or 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 1/4 cups ditalini
  • Grated parmesan cheese

  1. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven. Add sausage and brown for a few minutes, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Then add garlic, peppers and onions, and cook until soft, 6-7 minutes more.
  2. Deglaze pan with the vinegar and wine. Let reduce for a few minutes. Stir in broth, tomatoes and seasonings, and bring to a boil. Add ditalini and cook for 10 minutes or until pasta is done.
  3. Serve with cheese on top

Notes from the Cook:
  • If you can find cubanelle peppers (also known as frying peppers), use 3 bell peppers. I like to use 2 red and 1 yellow myself.
  • If you can't get bulk sausage buy links. Remove the casings and use a potato masher to break up the meat as it browns.
  • You can adjust the heat level by using hot sausage, fire-roasted tomatoes, or both. If you can't get the hot sausage or tomatoes, simply add red pepper flakes to the meat and veggies as they brown.

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