Monday, 26 September 2011

Warming Thoughts

Zuppa di Verdure con Salsiccia
Simple Vegetable Soup with Sausage

After the excesses of the weekend, this evening it had to be something more simple... but no less delicious or filling. A soup was in order, fresh vegetable and a little shredded sausage for a bit of extra flavor... On a cold Autumn evening... what more do you need?

One thing that you definitely do not need, is to open a can or a packet! it never ceases to amaze me that people think they don't have the time to make a soup- this took 20 minutes to make- and let's face it, you need 10 minutes to get your can open and warm anyway!

So, for one large portion of soup- this is all I needed; half of a carrot, half a stick of celery, 1 spring onion, a 2" chunk of zucchini, 5-6 cherry tomatoes and half of a smoked Italian sausage. It's pretty amazing what that will all turn into!

Cut the sausage into fine strips and pop it into your saucepan at a moderate heat, so that it begins to fry in its own juices. Cut the carrot in half lengthways and then into diagonal slices, slice the celery finely, slice the tomatoes and dice the zucchini.

Start off by adding the celery, carrot and onions first, as they will need longer to cook than the tomatoes and zucchini. Add some crushed garlic, tomato paste, salt, pepper, a bay leaf, stir them in and let the brown for a minute and then de-glaze with a cupful or so of boiling water. Don't add too much water all at once- use a smaller amount and let it take in all of the flavors of those simple but delicious ingredients and the tomato paste. Season with a little ground cumin, a little paprika and a little cayenne and little thyme. 

Add more water, reduce the temperature to a low simmer, add the tomatoes and the zucchini and continue boiling for a further 10 minutes. There should be enough flavor developed by those simple ingredients that you do not need any vegetable (or any other kind) of stock to get your soup tasting delicious- everything you need is right there in the pot! I think that you can tell from the pictures that there was no need for any pasta, rice or anything else- that is a pretty rich and satisfying mix as it is. You know- sometimes less is more, usually we overdo it with our food... and now and again a meal like this is simply a good thing to make and enjoy!

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