Fran’s Vegetable Soup with Sausage

It’s soup season!  To be honest, I don’t wait for cold weather to make soup.  I make it all year round—in fact, it’s the rare week that I haven’t made a big pot of one soup or another.  Roger and I will have it for supper one night, and then it makes an easy lunch to snag for work.  I like all types of soup, but I particularly like Tuscan style soups and just about any soup that has chicken stock as its base.

One day, I just used the “force” as Roger likes to put it, and threw together a bunch of my favorite vegetables with some bulk Italian sausage, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and a few of my go-to seasonings for this kind of a soup.  A new fall/winter favorite was born!  It is a hearty soup—if you serve it with a dinner roll, you won’t really need anything else although a side salad is always nice.

Years ago, a friend told me she didn’t like soup.  When I asked her why, she told me she didn’t like all that slurping.  Boy, is she missing out!  I hope you all enjoy slurping soup as much as I do because I have a lot more soup recipes in the pipeline.  Happy slurping!

Fran’s Vegetable Soup with Sausage

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Ingredients

Oops--forgot to put out the bouillon cubes!
  • Approx. 6 cups water, depending on how thick you want it–but start out with 6 cups
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 small zucchini, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 3 to 4 small summer squash, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 2-3 celery ribs, sliced
  • 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 4 chicken (or beef) bouillon cubes
  • 1/4 tsp. each:  marjoram, basil, pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Approx. 3/4 lb. bulk Italian sausage or meat from 4 sausage links
  • 15-oz. can petite diced tomatoes, undrained (I prefer petite diced but regular diced is fine)
  • 10-oz. package of frozen chopped spinach, cooked separately and drained of excess water
  • Grated Romano cheese or Parmesan for sprinkling

Optional

  • 15-oz. can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Small pasta such as chili mac or elbows, cooked separately

Directions

Add water to large saucepan; and, while it’s coming to a boil, add the onion, zucchini, summer squash, celery, tomato sauce, bouillon cubes, and seasonings.  When it comes to a boil, lower heat so that it just simmers.

Sauté sausage in nonstick frying pan (you won’t have to add any oil).  Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up sausage into small pieces as it cooks  When it is cooked, transfer it to soup using a slotted spoon.  Simmer for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Stir in diced tomatoes with their liquid and cooked spinach.  If you are adding any beans or pasta, add them with the spinach.  Bring soup back to a simmer if necessary.  If you prefer to have a thinner soup, add more water to get desired consistency.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  For me, it is perfectly seasoned at this point—I do not add any salt at all.

Serve with grated cheese of your choice.

Source:   A frantastic original

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