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ITALIAN SOPRESSATA & BEAN SOUP 
1 lb. stick of Sopressata dry sausage, diced small
1 large onion, sliced and diced
1 celery stalk, chopped
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 cans cannellini or other canned white beans
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
2 15oz cans diced tomatoes
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tbsp. black ground pepper
1 tbsp. granulated garlic
4 tbsp. light brown sugar
1 tbsp. oregano
3 tbsp. basil
1/2 tsp. thyme
Optional:
1-2 heads of chopped escarole
1-2 10oz packages of frozen, chopped spinach
1-2 bags of fresh baby spinach leaves

In a 4-6 quart stock pot over medium low heat sauté diced Sopressata in 2 tablespoons olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add diced onions and celery. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. Clear out an area in the middle of the pot and add garlic, cook in the middle until fragrant, then combine and sauté all four ingredients for 2-3 minutes more. Add black and red pepper flakes to the pot and cook an additional 3 minutes. This will temper their taste down a bit.

Pour in all of the broth and the canned tomatoes, then bring to a slight boil. Add 2 cans of white beans, liquid included, to the soup. Now, puree the other 2 cans of white beans with a stick blender or food processor. Add the paste to the stock. Add all of the spices, one at a time.

If adding greens, add 30-45 minutes before the soup is completely cooked.

Simmer for 2 hours or more to reduce the liquid a bit. This soup is slightly spicy from the sausage and red pepper. It's not hot, but just right on those cold Winter days!

NOTE: there isn't any need to add salt to the soup because of the saltiness of the Sopressata sausage. But if it seems to lack the taste you want, add a little at the dinner table.

Cooks Tip: We like to add salt and half of the spices toward the end of the cooking, to have several layers of flavor. Add half of the spices called for at the start of cooking, then near the final 20 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings, adding the full amount, or to your taste.

Submitted by: G. Roberti
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