Cold, rainy days are the norm where I live, all through winter, spring and even early summer. After Tom spends all day driving out in rainy weather, I want to cook him something simple and warm. Sausage Minestra fits this criteria. This soup is a Monday through Friday soup. That is, it’s simple and quick enough to cook on a weekday. I took this recipe from Cuisine at Home’s publication, Splendid Soups and Spectacular Sides, a very good collection of soup recipes and how I first learned to make soups. I tweeked it just a bit.
Total Time: 40 minutes
1lb – 1 1/2lb Italian link sausage, sliced into 1″ thick pieces – A package of Italian sausage contains about 5 sausages. I like to cover the whole bottom of the dutch oven so I buy two packages and cut up 8 sausages, but 5 sausages (about 1lb) works. I use the leftover sausage for breakfast the next day if you want to do it my way.
1/2 large onion or 1 small onion, diced
4 cups chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 cup white wine
1 Roma Tomato, diced
1/2 cup orzo
a few handfuls pre-washed Baby Spinach
Preparation and Cooking
- Cut the sausage into bite size pieces. Make sure your knife is sharp, otherwise cutting through the sausage casing could be tricky and annoying.
- Take a 5 Quart Dutch Oven and coat the bottom with olive oil.
- Turn the burner on medium.
- Add the sausage to the pot and brown the sausage.
- While the sausage cooks, dice the onion.
- When the sausage is fully cooked, add the diced onions, garlic and dried Italian seasoning.
- Saute the sausage, onion, and spices for another 3-5 minutes (until the diced onion is soft).
- Add the white wine to deglaze. Deglaze means that all of the brown, delicious bits stuck on the bottom from sauteing will come off and be added to the soup with adding the white wine. Let the white wine deglaze the pot until almost all of the white wine evaporates.
- While the white wine evaporates, core and dice the tomato.
- Add the chicken broth, tomato, and orzo.
- Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat, then let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes, until the orzo is cooked.
- Add the baby spinach. The spinach will cook in less than a minute so you can turn off the burner almost right after you drop the spinach.