The continued unseasonable cold weather has kept me in comfort food mode all the way through March and into April. That means yet more soups and stews using pantry staples, winter vegetables like kale, and hearty meats like sausage.
I’d picked up some chicken sausage with tomato, basil and cheese on sale at the supermarket that looked good, but what was I going to do with it? Sure I could have made a pasta sauce, but I wanted something more veggie-centric and healthy. A few weeks ago I’d made a sausage and kale soup supposed “inspired” by a popular Olive Garden recipe. It was good, but kind of heavy with milk and cream, and I wanted to do something lighter this time.
Improvising with the vegetables I had on hand—and some freshly made vegetable stock—I came up with this really tasty Chicken Sausage and Vegetable Soup recipe on the fly. I’m glad I took notes and photos while I was preparing it as it’s definitely a recipe I wanted to share, and remember so I can make it again in the future.
Chicken Sausage and Vegetable Soup
If you don’t like chicken sausage, of course you could make this soup with regular pork sausage as well. But I liked the lighter touch the chicken sausage added and the extra flavor of the sun-dried tomatoes and basil in the mix.
You can substitute different kinds of mushrooms for the enoki and shitake I used—those just happened to be what I had in excess after a recent trip to the H-Mart. But again, I liked the lighter flavor these mushrooms added compared to more common button or baby bella mushrooms. Feel free to adjust to your own taste.
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: About 1 hour 20 minutes
- Serves: 6 to 8 (this makes a lot of soup!)
- Olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped (yellow, red or one of each)
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 pound chicken sausage with sundried tomato, basil and cheese
- 10 cups chicken or vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
- 1 20 ounce can tomato puree
- 4-5 fresh medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 14.5 ounce can chick peas, drained
- 1 large zucchini, diced
- 6 ounces mushrooms (enoki, shitake, baby bella), sliced
- 1 bunch kale, hand torn
- Red pepper flakes
- Dried or fresh basil
- Fresh grated parmesan cheese
Chop and prep all ingredients before you begin assembling the soup.
In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add chopped onions and saute until just beginning to soften, 1-2 minutes.
Roughly slice or crumble the sausage, add to the pan. Add more olive oil if necessary—chicken sausage tends to be leaner than pork sausage and may require more cooking fat. Cook until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
Cook until beginning to reduce and become flavorful, about 25-30 minutes.
Next add the chick peas, kale, mushrooms and zucchini.
Cook until the zucchini is tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes more.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve topped with fresh grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!