By Angie Sutton, mothersapronstrings.com
I love coming home on a weeknight to the entire house smelling like a hearty soup or stew. What I love even more is dropping everything at the door, dishing up dinner and heading right to the table to catch up on everyone’s day. Weekends are reserved for the recipes that require a bit more work.
One of my favorite meals growing up was the potato soup my mom made. What made it special were the toast cubes we ate with it. She would toast a half a bag of bread and cut it into bite-sized cubes. We’d toss them into the thick broth of the soup and in no time were stuffed to the gills. Soup has a tradition of being a meal that warms the heart and soul. It offers a reason to gather at churches across the country every fall and winter as they host visitors for soup days.
Conversations flow around the deep bowls filled with heartwarming soups, dishes of crackers and carrot sticks. And the pies, oh my! We’ll talk about that soon!
As a busy mom with an active family, soup is a quick and easy meal that is slow cooker friendly. Most soups are easily adaptable based on what you have available. Substitute corn for green beans or add potatoes to stretch the servings. If you like more broth, add some in! When time allows you can amp up the meal with a ham and cheese panini or a simple grilled cheese sandwich. Ground beef makes an easy protein for soups but it can certainly be substituted with beef stew meat. I like to use a higher quality lean ground beef for soup.
Sausage, Cannellini and Tomato Soup
6 oz. bulk hot Italian sausage
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 c. yellow onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 c. dry red wine
3/4 c. chicken stock
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper, optional
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried
Brown sausage about 2 minutes, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan at set aside. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add wine; cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in stock and next 5 ingredients (through beans); reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 8 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in cooked sausage and oregano.