Sunday, November 8, 2009

Spicy Italian Sausage and Black Bean Soup

As the cold weather hits us, soup season is here!  Here is a recipe we tried out the other day.  It was yummy!  My three year old loved it, even though the sausage I used was on the spicier side.  If you don't want it so spicy, just use a mild italian sausage.  I cook spicy things alot, so my kids are used to it.  Sometimes I won't feed them the same thing as us if what I am cooking is extra spicy. 

I am not a fan of using wine to cook with - I just don't like the flavor.  In place of the red wine in this recipe, I just used an extra cup of beef broth.  I also had run out of celery and didn't want to go to the store.  I used celery seed to give the flavor.  I don't like using spinach in soup, so it was really just a personal preference to leave that out.  I'm sure it would be just as good with it in it. 

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 pound spicy Italian sausage
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 russet potato, cubed
5 stalks celery, diced
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1 (32 fluid ounce) container beef broth
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup uncooked rotini pasta
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook the Italian sausages in the hot oil, turning occasionally, until browned on the outside and no longer pink in the center, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool; remove all but 1 tablespoon of grease from the pot.

Stir the garlic, onion, carrot, potato, and celery into the hot fat. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the onion has turned translucent, about 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste until no lumps remain; pour in the red wine. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid has reduced by half, stirring frequently to dissolve the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the beef broth, black beans, and diced tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 1 hour.

Cut the cooled sausage into 1/2-inch thick slices. Stir the sausage into the soup along with the rotini pasta, spinach, and dried oregano. Simmer until the pasta is tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the chopped basil and season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

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