While it looks a bit like early spring outside my window, I opened the door to an icy cold blast of air that quickly brought be back to reality and reminded me that we are·indeed still in the midst of a Nova Scotia winter.
We decided to combine two of our greatest loves, lazy Sundays and soup. I could live off soup, as long as they are the stick to your rib kind. Don't get me wrong I love a cream soup as well but when the temp drops below zero its got to be hearty!
We scoured fridge and pantry and came up with a suitable list of characters. The star of this soup would be hot Italian sausage that I get from my friend Dave Wall over at the Pork Shop in New Glasgow. Let me tell you, served up with some crusty bread it was, as my Cape Breton friends say "right some good".
Spicy Italian Sausage Soup
1 lb hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
4 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine (optional, if not using add 1 more cup beef broth)
1 28oz can stewed tomatoes
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 cup dried pasta such as ziti
Parmesan cheese for topping
Place a large pot over medium high heat and scramble fry the sausage meat. Scramble frying is simply a method where you move the meat around continuously so that you don't end up with large chunks. Remove the sausage meat and add in the onions, garlic, celery and carrots. If you sausage meat was not overly fatty you may need to add some olive oil at this point, saute until everything has begun to soften, about seven or eight minutes. Add in the stock, red wine ( I said this was optional but it really does make a difference and provides left overs to consume through out the day)tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes, if they are whole break them up a bit with the back of your spoon, also add the oregano and basil. Toss the sausage meat back in there and let it all come to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow to work away for about forty minutes or so. You'll notice that pasta has not yet been introduced. You want to add that about twenty minutes before serving so that you don't end up with soggy starchy bits floating around your fabulous creation. Serve garnished with parm cheese and some fresh bread,and you may as well start in on that left over wine about now, as is you hadn't already! Bon Apetite!