Recipe: Italian Sausage Stew

Got some Italian sausage? Check. Produce bin full of random veggies? Check. Cold, rainy day? Check. This is a version of what I used to affectionately refer to as “Trashcan Soup,” meaning if there is sausage and some other stuff, you can always make a meal. It’s a little different these days without the lentils and cannellini beans, but just as tasty and satisfying.

There’s only one rule to this soup: No running to the grocery store! You must work with what you have on hand. Mushrooms a little shriveled or greens a little wilty? No bother, just toss ‘em in. That was soup’s historical function anyway, so let’s give in to happenstance. I’m including the ingredients I had on hand below, but feel free to wing it as necessary. Anything that tastes good with an Italian tomato sauce would go great in here. It comes together quickly, making for a great weeknight supper.

Italian Sausage Stew

1 pound Italian sausage, loose or removed from casings

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced

1 carrot, diced

1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. garlic powder

Pinch of dried thyme

1/4 head of cabbage, sliced into ribbons

small bunch of Swiss chard leaves, sliced into ribbons

1 28 oz. can/box/jar diced tomatoes

3 cups chicken broth

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

grated Parmesan, for garnish (optional)

1) Sauté sausage in large (at least 4 qt.) saucepan, breaking up large clusters with a spoon. As fat begins to render, add onion, garlic, mushrooms, carrot, oregano, garlic powder, and thyme. Stir.

2) When sausage is browned, add cabbage and chard. Stir, then add tomatoes and broth.

3) Simmer for 20 minutes. Season with S & P. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of Parmesan, if using.

Makes 4 servings, probably with leftovers.

 

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