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.
Glenn and I enjoyed our Thanksgiving dinner with our good friend Pat last night. We brought the turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce and Pat did the rest. She started the meal with a spicy cumin flavoured carrot soup that not only tasted great but was low in calories. By switching a low-fat milk for the usual heavy cream this carrot soup made for a light start to our holiday meal.
Right now giant bags of carrots abound at roadside stands. Their intended use: bating deer in hunting season. But we prefer to use them on the dining table. It’s easy to make a huge batch of the carrot puree for freezing in small containers. Yummy and nutritious carrot soup is then just minutes away from the table on busy week days when the family has to eat on the run. Simply thaw the puree in the microwave before adding the milk. Reheat and ladle into bowls. If you like you can swirl a small amount of sour cream into the soup before serving. We find sour cream counteracts the sweetness of the carrots in this soup.
- 2T butter
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp hot sriracha chili sauce (or to taste)
- 1 cooking onion, diced
- 2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks
- 1 litre of chicken stock
- 1 cup low fat milk
- Low fat sour cream for garnish (1 T for each bowl)
- Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan large enough to hold the carrots and stock.
- Measure the spices and stir into the melted butter cooking for one minute.
- Add the onions and saute until the onion becomes translucent.
- Pour chicken stock into the pot and add the carrots. Raise the heat under the pot to bring everything to the boiling point then lower the heat and continue to simmer the soup mixture until the carrots are soft and cooked completely; about 20 – 25 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let cool until it’s easier to handle.
- Puree in small batches. The puree can be completely cooled at this point and frozen in small batches for later use. Or, you can return all of the puree to a pot along with 2 cups of milk and reheat while stirring.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and swirl 1 T of sour cream into each bowl before serving
This recipe serves 8
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