Italian Sausage Soup
1 lb mild Italian sausage
1 tsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped small
2 green bell peppers, chopped small
2 small OR 1 large zucchini, seeded & chopped small
2 slaks celery, chopped small
1 tsp minced garlic
14 oz can diced tomatoes with the liquid, pulsed in a food processor
2 quarts chicken broth
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, chopped small
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 Parmesan rinds (can substitute 1/4 - 1/2 cup grated Parmesan)
2 15oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
1. Remove the casings from the sausages. Cut into pieces. Place a stock pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the sausage. Cook, stirring often, until the meat is browned. If your sausage is greasy, drain it. Transfer the sausage to a plate.
2. Add the olive oil to the pot. Once hot, add the onion, green pepper, zucchini, celery, and garlic along with 1/4 tsp of salt. Increase the heat to high. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften.
3. Add the pulsed tomatoes to the pot. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth. Return the sausage to the pot.
4. Add the roasted red pepper, parsley, basil, black pepper, red pepper flakes, Parmesan rind(s), and beans to the pot. Bring the soup to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low.
5. Simmer the soup for one hour, stirring occasionally. Add more salt to taste (this is dependent on the saltiness of your broth, sausage, cheese and on personal preference, but I add an additional 1/2 tsp to mine).
6. Remove the rinds (scraping any cheese into the soup). Serve! This soup is particularly lovely with a rustic Italian bread on the side.