Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Cooking: Sausage & Mushroom Soup

In an attempt to broaden our dinner options a bit beyond my limited repertoire of grilled steaks, burgers & chicken, spaghetti and the occasional meatloaf, I've decided to start trying out some new recipes. Right now, I'm mostly getting them from myrecipes.com, which is a site from Cooking Light, Southern Cooking, etc. Tonight we tried the first one, and it was pretty good, so I figured I'd share it. It makes a ton... my guess is that you could feed about six people with it using it as a main dish, especially if you add some bread. Or you could serve small cups of it as part of an Italian meal with pasta or chicken parmigiana or something along those lines, and probably have enough for 8-12 people.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 pounds mild Italian sausages (I used sweet instead)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
7 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 pound angel hair
1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

1. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add the sausages and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove. When cool enough to handle, cut the sausages into 1/8-inch slices.

2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pot over moderately low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until golden, 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Add the broth, thyme, red-pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, and the salt to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the sausages and bring back to a boil. Add the pasta, reduce the heat, and simmer until just done, about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and the black pepper.

For my modifications, I left out the parsley, since I assumed it was more garnish than flavor, I only used a 1/2 lb. of mushrooms (which seemed like plenty to me... your mileage may vary) and I couldn't find low sodium chicken broth, so I used regular. In retrospect, if you wind up going this route, you can probably skip adding the additional salt, although it certainly didn't kill the taste. But I think it might have been on the border of doing so for Suzanne.

Also, if you want to make the soup easier to eat, crack the angel hair in half before dropping it in. We wound up using both spoons and forks to eat the meal.

Anyway, now that I know I like the taste, it's time to figure out what I can do to cut down on prep time. I'm also thinking I might try halving the recipe next time I make it, so that we don't have quite so much left over.

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