Vegetable-Sausage Soup: Hearty, Healthful, and Homemade

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Why open a can of soup from a factory when you can make a pot of delicious, fresh, and hearty goodness in the warmth of your own kitchen? And it’s easy!

Good old-fashioned vegetable soup doesn’t come in a can. You can make a delightfully delicious and healthful soup in less time than you think, and the preparation doesn’t get any easier. If you cook the dried kidney beans a day ahead and refrigerate overnight, this dish can be made in about an hour. The taste and freshness are worth it, and your family will thank you!

Fresh Vegetables vs. Canned Vegetables

The key to fresh vegetables is just that: fresh vegetables. If you’re making this recipe at a time when fresh corn isn’t available, choose a good-quality canned or frozen corn as a substitute. The same may be said for green beans, but dried beans are available year-round, so there’s no excuse there!

 

Make It Vegetarian

This soup is easy to make vegetarian. Just omit the sausage and substitute vegetarian vegetable broth or water for the chicken broth. If you choose water, you may want to use less than three cups so that the flavor of the vegetables isn’t diluted too much.

Vegetable-Sausage Soup: Hearty, Healthful, and Homemade

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried kidney beans
  • 2 cups water
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 3/4 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 large celery ribs, diced
  • 3 medium yellow-skinned potatoes (or Yukon Gold), diced
  • 1 large leek, white part only, rinsed well and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 2 tbsp dried herb mix
  • 3 cups chicken broth

Preparation

  1. Parboil the kidney beans for 2 minutes, then remove from heat, cover, and let rest about 45 minutes. Drain and rinse.
  2. Bring 2 cups water, kidney beans, salt, and pepper to a boil. Cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Drain.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add sausage, breaking into small pieces as it cooks, 7-8 minutes.
  4. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Add a little more oil to the pot, if needed.
  5. Add carrots and celery to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add potatoes, leek, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes.
  7. Add tomatoes with their juices and bring to a simmer. Cook 2 minutes.
  8. Add green beans, corn, reserved kidney beans, and reserved sausage and season with salt, pepper, and dried herbs. Stir well for about 30 seconds to combine vegetables and meat.
  9. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, about 30 minutes, until carrots and potatoes are tender and flavors are well combined.

Makes 6-7 servings.

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