Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tuscan Bean Soup

There is not much that I like about the bitter cold Winter, but a nice bowl of homemade soup sure does help with the Winter doldrums. So since we do not have the option to hibernate we can rejoice in our home made soup.This recipe is so quick and easy you will never want to eat that awful canned soup again. Who wants flavorless salty canned soup? Repeat after me.....Homemade soup rules! Say it like you mean it.....with conviction! Smile.  This is a nice soup that will warm up your chilly bones from the inside out. Italian Style Bean Soup .

Tuscan Bean Soup

  • 20 oz Shady Brook Farms Sweet Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp chicken base mixed into 4 cups hot water
  • ½ tsp. thyme
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. garlic
  • ½ tsp. fennel seed
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • about 5 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves, stems removed
Sear the sausage links outside on the grill or in a 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Meanwhile in a large soup pot add the next 11 ingredients, reserving the spinach for later and simmer while preparing sausage. As soon as the sausage is cooked and cool enough to handle cut into bite sized pieces, add sausage to soup pot and simmer for about 45 minutes. Then stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 15 minutes longer. Serve immediately with some hearty bread.

I prefer to use chicken base and water to flavor my soups. It is a paste that comes in a jar and you may purchase it in the wholesale food clubs (in the spice aisle). Also you can find it in restaurant food supply stores or online. If you don't want to use base you may use chicken broth instead. Also you may remove casing from sausage and cook it loosely instead of in links, it tastes the same ether way.

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