When wintertime comes upon us, it's so enjoyable to warm up your senses - and toes - over a bowl of steaming hot, homemade soup. Of course, no soup to me would be complete without a couple of chunks of toasted bread for dunking!
Soup is easy to make, as you can use leftovers and simple ingredients that are laying around in your refrigerator or pantry. Add some good stock or broth and you are good to go! My Winter Sausage Soup Recipe celebrates the leek and cabbage, two of my favorite seasonal winter vegetables.
Leeks are a member of the onion and garlic family - they are sophisticated and have a subtle sweetness - compared to the regular onion. Leeks are loaded with vitamin C, iron and fiber. Cabbage is full of vitamins C and K, while the purple variety contains cancer preventing properties.
I originally created this recipe as a spicy sausage soup by using hot Italian sausage along with the Adobo sauce from a small can of chipotle chili peppers. You may omit the Adobo sauce if you wish, however, it does add to the flavor of the soup. This Winter Sausage Soup recipe is full of flavor, texture and is satisfyingly yummy! Enjoy!
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
4 medium sized leeks, white and light green parts
1 small yellow onion, diced
6 Italian sausage (hot or mild)
2 cups mushrooms, wiped clean and roughly chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tbsp. Adobo sauce (optional)
1 tsp. whole oregano, crushed
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
4 1/2 cups shredded or chopped cabbage (white or savoy)
10 cups beef stock or broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Remove the casings from the sausage. Warm a skillet/frying pan over medium to high heat for about 2 minutes, add the sausage and cook until browned, breaking it up as you go. Set aside.
2. Split the leeks lenghways down to the root, but not through it. Then open the leek and rinse under cold running water, then slice into half inch moons. In a large soup pot over a medium heat in the olive oil, cook the garlic, leeks, onions, mushrooms and stirring occasionally for approximately 8 minutes and then add the crumbled cooked sausage. Cook 2-3 minutes more. Next, add the tomato paste, Adobo sauce, oregano and Italian seasoning. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Raise the heat to high and add the stock or broth. Bring to a slight boil and add the cabbage. Then, reduce the heat to medium low and cook the soup for about 15 - 20 minutes. Taste. If necessary, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to your liking.
Serve hot with some toasted French or sourdough bread. Serves 6.