So this happened today:
Yes, #Juno was going on all day today outside my window. What’s a home cook to do? Cook I guess.
Lucky for us, I just happened to have all the ingredients for this delicious, soul-warming soup:
This soup is so easy and so good. It’s one of my favorite things to whip up in the winter, and the great thing about it is that it’s made up mostly of things I usually already have on hand, and you should too.
Start with the sausage. I actually don’t usually have this on hand, but it’s not a bad idea to have a couple packs in your freezer handy for pizzas, pasta sauces, etc. Remove the sausage from its casings. For me, it’s easiest to do this with a serrated steak knife.
Once you’ve browned the sausage, add your onion and garlic. Those are two things you should always have on hand, BTDubs. Those are staples that you can throw into almost anything and it’ll be good.
Once the onions become shiny and translucent at the edges, add your chicken stock. I always have boxed chicken stock on hand because it can add a lot of flavor to simple dishes like mashed potatoes, stir fry vegetables, pasta, and soups (case in point). In a pinch you could also just pop open box and boil up some wonton soup with it. It’s a must have.
Throw in a parmesan rind. I usually have whole parmesan on hand because it’s just so much better to have fresh grated parmesan than the dry, powdery, pre-grated stuff. Parmesan is great too because it lasts forever in the fridge and once you’re through you can save the rinds in the freezer. Add the rinds to soups, tomato sauces, whatever you want to give it an extra savory, funky hit.
Add your can of diced tomatoes and orzo pasta. Canned diced tomatoes are always in my pantry for a quick tomato sauce or chili or for this particular soup. I also usually have orzo… not really as versatile but it goes great in this soup and I do love a good orzo pasta salad.
After the tomatoes and pasta have been cooking for 5 minutes, add your escarole and canned white beans. Canned white beans make a great bean dip (think hummus but with white beans), and are great just stir fried with kale or thrown into a bean salad.
Let it bowl down and that’s it! It’s even better after it’s been sitting a while and the starch from the pasta thickens it all up. Serve with fresh grated parmesan and dig in.
1 lb Italian Sausage (hot or mild, up to you), casings removed
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced small
1 10-oz bag of chopped kale or escarole
1 15-oz can of diced tomatoes (no salt added)
1 15-oz can of white beans (low sodium), drained
1 32-oz box of chicken stock
1/3 cup of orzo
1 parmesan rind
1 tbsp olive oil
Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil and heat, then add the sausage. Saute the italian sausage, breaking it up into small pieces. When the sausage is browned, add the garlic and onion and saute until the onion starts to glisten and turns translucent at the edges. If there is excess oil, remove some of it so there is about a tablespoon remaining. Add the entire box of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Throw in the parmesan rind. Bring back to a boil.
Add the can of diced tomatoes and bring back to a boil. Add the orzo and boil for another 5 minutes. Add the kale/escarole and the white beans and boil for another 10 minutes, or until the greens are tender.
Remove the parmesan rind, ladle into bowls, serve with fresh grated parmesan and grilled crusty bread.
Enjoy. Winter has come.
Beer Pairing Recommendation: BEER WITH SOUP? WHY NOT? Anderson Valley Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale