We’ve had several snow storms hit one after the other, over the past three weeks. When a nasty nor’easter blows cold wind down from Northern Canada I need warm soup in my belly to see me through. This Italian wedding soup goes together quickly and hits the spot on a cold winter afternoon after shovelling the driveway and bringing in the wood. I am not quite sure why this warm concoction is called wedding soup. Maybe it’s because when the soup is finished, the tiny white pasta balls (acini di pepe) look a bit like confetti floating around in the soup bowl.
- 1 cooking onion – medium dice
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 litres beef bone broth (or two, 1 litre tetra packs)
- ½ C acini di pepe
- 1 lb. Italian sausage (hot or mild)
- 1 package of baby spinach leaves
- Heat olive oil in soup pot, add the chopped onion and sauté until the onion is translucent
- Add the beef broth and heat until the broth begins to simmer
- Add the acini di pepe and continue to simmer the soup for another 15 minutes
- While the soup is simmering make tiny little sausage meatballs by rolling about 1 tsp of the meat between the palms of your hands
- Add the little meatballs to the soup and continue to simmer the soup for another twenty minutes or so
- Add the spinach and stir until it has all wilted
Your soup is ready to serve. However, as with most soups, the flavour will continue to develop if the soup is brought to room temperature and then gets to rest in the fridge overnight.
When the leaves begin to change colors and the nights get chilly it’s time to get the soup pot on the stove. This sausage and bean soup makes a hearty meal when served with a crusty bread and a mixed cheese board.
- 1 lb. Italian Sausage (hot)
- 3 T oil
- 2 large cooking onions, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 red potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 cans mixed beans (16 oz), rinsed and drained
- 1 can plum tomatoes, diced
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- 1 T white sugar
- 1 cup yellow beans cut into one inch pieces, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup green beans cut into one inch pieces, fresh or frozen
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 T dried parsley
- 2 T dried basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh Parmesan cheese shaved for garnish
- Roll sausage into small meatballs about 3/4” In diameter – set aside for later use.
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat.
- Sauté the diced cooking onion and celery until softened.
- Add diced carrots, diced potatoes, chicken stock, plum tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and mixed beans – bring this mixture to the boil.
- Turn heat down to medium low.
- Add bay leaves, thyme, parsley and basil while continuing to simmer the soup over low heat for about half an hour.
- Place the Italian sausage meatballs, and the green and yellow beans into the soup and continue to simmer for 15 more minutes until the meatballs and the beans are cooked through.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Serve the soup garnished with parmesan cheese