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Savory Sausage Soup

Spring has officially arrived, and with it comes the end of soup season. As much as I love the warmer weather, I always find it a little bittersweet to put away my hot and hearty creations. There is just something so satisfying about a steaming, restorative bowl of meat and veggie-filled liquid goodness.

If I’m honest, I’ll tell you that even though you won’t see a hearty soup on this blog in the blazing heat of July, chances are that a bowl may still grace my dinner table every now and again. I just can’t get past the benefits soup provides:

Today’s featured soup utilizes one of my all time favorite proteins; sausage.  Use whatever flavors you have on hand.  I made mine with a combination of turkey and pork.  When crafting the meatballs, make sure the sausage is uncooked so that you can easily meld it together with the other ingredients.  If you choose to purchase the raw links, you can simply slice into the casing and squeeze the contents out.  When short on time,  precooked sausage can be cut up and used in place of the balls for a similar effect.

Begin by putting together the base of your soup.  Heat up a little oil in a dutch oven and drop in whatever vegetables you have on hand along with the prerequisite clove of garlic.  Because honestly, life just wouldn’t be as tasty without the addition of those pungent little flavors bulbs to spice it up.

Once the veggies have had a minute or two to cook, swirl in a little curry and fresh oregano.  Add in a cup of chicken broth to deglaze the pan and then pour in a bit more to finish off the soup.  Squeeze in a bit of lemon juice, cover and let simmer.

Now for the best part in my not so humble opinion.  The meatballs.

Drop the chosen sausage into a bowl along with an egg, a few bread crumbs, some garlic and a couple herbs and spices.

Using your hands, mix the ingredients together and roll into bite sized balls.  Heat up a little oil in a dutch oven or large frying pan and cook those sausagy spheres until no pink remains.

When your soup has adequately simmered itself into a cooked thing of beauty, drop in a few hearty handfuls of greens and let them wilt down.  I used a combination of spinach and endive because it’s what was in my crisper, but feel free to change it up with kale, swiss chard, or another green of your choosing.

Finally, you’ll drop the meatballs back in along with a cup of cooked rice or pasta.  Salt and pepper to taste, add a splash of cream if desired and dinner is officially served.

I personally can’t think of a more fitting and tasty tribute to end the hearty soup season.

This post is being shared over at MSN’s Kitchen Cookoff.  Be sure to drop by and show a little love!

Savory Sausage Soup

Yield: Serves 8 (approx. 1 cup servings)

Total Time: 1 hour 30 min

Ingredients:

For the Soup:

1 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 Onion, Chopped
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
2 Carrots, Peeled and Chopped
3 Stalks Celery, Chopped
1 Zucchini, Chopped
1 tsp Curry
2 tsp Fresh Oregano
4 Cups Chicken Broth
1/2 Lemon, Juiced
4 Oz. Fresh Spinach
1 Cup Cooked Pasta or Rice
2 Tbsp Heavy Cream (Optional)
Salt and Pepper to Taste

For the Meatballs:

1 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 Pound Sausage(Pork, Chicken, Turkey all work well)
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Bread Crumbs
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
1 tsp Fresh Oregano
2-3 Shakes Cayenne (Optional)
1 Pinch Salt and Pepper

Directions:

In a large dutch oven or frying pan, heat up the oil on medium heat.

Add in the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and zucchini.

Let cook for a couple minutes and then add in the curry and oregano.

Pour in one cup of the broth to deglaze the pot. Add in the remaining three cups.

Squeeze in the lemon.

Turn the heat down to a simmer and let cook covered for about an hour until the veggies are softened.

While the soup is simmering, heat the oil for the meatballs on high heat in a large frying pan.

Mix together the sausage, egg, bread crumbs, garlic, oregano, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Form into balls and place in the hot oil.

Cook for 5-7 minutes until browned through.

Remove from the pot and reserve.

Once the soup is ready to be assembled, stir in the spinach and allow a minute or two to wilt.

Toss the meatballs back into the soup along with the cooked pasta/rice and give a minute to heat through.

If desired, add in the cream.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese over the top and a crusty chunk of warm buttered bread along side.