tomato and sausage soup

Tomato and Sausage Soup

I live in Southern California so I will refrain from complaining about the cold. Here, relative to much of the United States, we are not cold. We are a bit chilly. Perfect time for tomato and sausage soup.

That being said, all I want to eat is soup. And ice cream. It’s weird. And no, I am not pregnant.

So this week I am making tomato and sausage soup from a recipe I frankensteined from a few other recipes. You can replace the canned tomato with fresh when fresh tomatoes are worth eating. This makes enough for three reasonable servings or two generous. Double it and easily feed four.

Here’s how I reheat soup in a microwave.

  1. Heat soup in microwave a couple minutes. Not hot enough.
  2. Heat soup in microwave a couple more minutes. Still not hot enough
  3. Heat soup in microwave a couple more minutes. Still not hot enough. Start swearing and getting irritated.
  4. Heat soup in microwave 5 full minutes.
  5. Burn Unit.

For the tomato and sausage soup:

  • Generous tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil or really whatever oil you have that doesn’t have a strong smell. I inherited a bottle of safflower oil from Older Son I am trying to use up.
  • 2 ½ cups water (more if the soup starts seeming a little too thick)
  • 2 cloves garlic (i use those little frozen cubes)
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes (the one I unearthed from my cupboard says the contents are fire roasted and include green chilis, this is not necessary but will probably taste good and I am not going to the store)
  • Small yellow or white onion, diced small
  • 8 oz chicken sausage, casings removed (add more if you want, it’s your soup) You can use sweet or spicy, it’s up to you. The store might decide what you buy simply due to the fact they only have one kind.
  • 1 tsp oregano or Italian seasoning. Pretty much any dried green herb you have in your cupboard, except tarragon 
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes (leave this out if you don’t want it overtly spicy)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (buy the tube of tomato paste, tell your kids you are going to start brushing your teeth with it)
  • ⅔ cup Israeli couscous or orzo. Also, if you don’t have couscous or orzo, that little salad macaroni would totally work. Or snap long pasta into about inch long pieces.
  • Salt and maybe pepper, taste it to see if you want pepper.

OPTIONAL

  • 1 cup corn (canned or frozen, but if it is canned drain it, corn juice is not yummy in this)
  • Bell peppers, medium diced if you like that sort of thing, which I don’t but it’s your soup
  • Jalapeño, if fresh small diced or if pickled use as a topping
  • Look in your fridge, see if anything in there might be good in soup. Carrots? Sure. Celery, maybe not. I don’t know what parsnips are and I’ve never eaten a turnip so maybe not those. Beets? No. Eggplant, gross. But if you like it go ahead. Zucchini would be good. But add late in the game so it doesn’t disintegrate. Canned white beans or kidney beans would be good. Chick peas would work, too! Drain and rinse them before adding. Turn it into a minestrone. As I said, if you don’t have couscous or orzo, that little salad macaroni would work. Or snap long pasta into about inch long pieces.

A note on salt: You are making soup, you are going to have to use some salt. Now, the tomatoes are canned so check the label to see if they are sodium free. If you are adding corn or beans or anything like that there will be salt in those. There is salt in the sausage. But you are adding 2 ½ cups water. You will need to add some salt.

Toppings: Shredded parmesan, avocado, sliced radishes, sour cream, tapatio, all of these or none. Like cake, soup should be eaten exactly how you want it.

Try not to burn yourself.

Method:

  1. Wash and dry any fresh produce you have. If you are using any fresh produce, I salute you. I have figured out how to make this soup without chopping one single thing. There are pre-chopped onions in the frozen food section. No judgement, safe space.
  2. Chop onion, small dice. Mince garlic. If using fresh, medium dice tomato. Medium dice anything else you are throwing in. Except jalapeño. Small dice that.
  3. In a pot big enough to make soup, heat a generous tablespoon of neutral tasting oil over medium-high (ish) heat. Add onion and salt and pepper. How much salt and pepper? ½ teaspoon each, minimum. See note on salt. Cook until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add sausage, garlic and oregano (or whatever herb you decided on/found in your cupboard). Cook, breaking up sausage into pieces until browned and cooked through.
  4. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. If you are adding bell peppers or zucchini, put it in here. Add 2 ½ cups water and salt and pepper. A half a tablespoon of salt might not be out of the question here. Also, you can add a couple of teaspoons of stock concentrates at this point, if the salt is upsetting you.
  5. Bring it all to a boil. Taste it. Carefully! Need seasoning? Add some here. Then add whatever pasta you have as well as beans or corn or chickpeas. You might need to add more water. Cook it all for about ten minutes then taste it. Pasta done? Everything taste good? If it’s bland don’t worry. If you aren’t adding toppings, just add salt or pepper or take it off the heat and drizzle with really good olive oil.
  6. Put it in some bowls then it’s time for Toppings!
  7. Consume.
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