Friday, March 21, 2008

Sausage Soup with Spinach and Wild Rice to warm us up...

Wee! Well, we were able to see the grass yesterday, but today everything is very bright and white again!

We ended up with just over 8" of heavy, wet snow - at least Max had a good time romping around.

After I was done shoveling (while Jeff was "working" from home), I was really in the mood for a stomach warming soup to take the chill off. I was actually planning something else tonight, but I scrounged around the recipe pile and decided to toss together this Sausage Soup with Spinach and Wild Rice instead as it called for ingredients we always have in the pantry or freezer.

The only bummer was waiting around for the hard wild rice to cook through enough! When the rice had partially cooked through, I began working on the base of the soup. We cooked a few links worth of hot Italian turkey sausage until it was crumbly and done. We removed the sausage, added a little olive oil and sautéed a bit of onion - when it began to soften, we threw three crushed cloves of garlic in. For a richer background, a couple dollops of tomato paste is the next ingredient - you want to make sure you stir this around in the pan before adding any liquid. Taking this extra step gives the paste a chance to begin caramelizing, bringing some dimension to the soup.

Once seasoned with dried basil and oregano (don't forget to rub them between your fingers to refresh their flavor), broth and a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes are added as the liquid ingredients. The sausage is then placed back in and the soup simmers away, allowing the flavors to mingle and marry. Right before serving, the tender wild rice and some torn baby spinach are added into the bubbling soup, heating the rice back up and slightly wilting the spinach. Fresh grated Parmesan cheeses rounds this out with a sharp, salty note. The original recipe stated it made 9 servings - however, it also included an extra 3 cups of water that we simply felt was unneeded and probably used to make this soup stretch a bit more. We like how it had a bit more intense flavor and would make this change again - we portioned it out into 4 filling servings. If you feel the need, you would add those extra 3 cups of water when you add the broth.


  1. Ahhh..Max is a cutie.
    That soup looks sooo good.
    It was in the 70's today here in Texas, maybe we will get another cool day so I can try that!

  2. Soup looks really good...

    How do you find Max in the snow??? He is beautiful. Love the snow on his nose....

  3. YiKES! Looks rather fun to play around in. I'm just about to go for a jog in shorts and a tank top :)

    I had a dog just like Max when I was a child!

  4. Soup was a great idea for last night...and tonight too, I think! I could not believe it was still snowing when I woke up this morning! Your soup sounds great--I love spinach in soup.


  5. Kandi - Bah! 70's?!

    Sara - he blends in quite well doesn't he?

    Lori - Was your pup an American Eskie too?

    Courtney - And there is suppose to be more snow this week!