So I’m standing in my kitchen, looking out the back door, it’s the first full day of spring and snowflakes are falling in Virginia Beach!
I thought it seemed like a good day for soup!
This is a hearty, satisfying soup that you can whip up in minutes on a chilly weeknight. The sausage choice is up to you, I have used Andouille, Chorizo, Italian and a Basil-Garlic with equally wonderful results. I have also used fully cooked and fresh sausage, just a slight change in cooking time. I will say I slightly prefer a fresh sausage in this.
GLUTEN FREE notes: If you are new to gluten free cooking and eating, you may find it odd that I would label a soup recipe gluten free. Gluten lurks in all kinds of unexpected places, such as chicken broth and sausage! Read, read, read those labels. Beware of “natural flavorings” and even if there appears to be no sign of gluten in the ingredients, check the fine print about the facility it was processed in, you know the note where it says processed in a facility that processes nuts, soy, wheat, etc. Or it may go so far as to say may contain traces of nuts, wheat, dairy. While this may not seem like a big deal if you are eating gluten free by choice, those traces are a very big deal to someone with celiac disease.
Enjoy and stay warm!
1 lb Brussels sprouts
½ to ¾ pound sausage
2 cans Cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 TB olive oil
1 teas carraway seeds
2 fresh bay leaves
1/2 teas red pepper flakes, optional
4 cups gluten free chicken broth
salt to taste
Remove stems and cut Brussels sprouts in half, I quarter the larger ones. I was even lucky enough to find purple ones once and used a combination, which made for a very pretty soup!
Cut sausage into bite-sized pieces. If using fresh sausage, remove casing and break sausage into pieces. Heat Dutch oven or large stock pot over med-high heat. Add 1-2 TB olive oil to coat bottom of pan. Add sausage. Cook fresh sausage until cooked through, lightly brown pre-cooked sausage.
Add caraway seeds, bay leaves and red-pepper flakes, cook for a minute – NOTE: if using a spicy sausage you may want to omit the red pepper flakes, for me I put them in everything!
Add Brussels sprouts, HALF the beans and the broth. Heat to simmer, partially cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, until Brussels sprouts are just tender.
Before serving, in a blender or bowl using an immersion blender, puree remaining beans with some of the broth. Add to soup and heat through. Add salt to taste.
You can also omit this step, using all beans whole, or puree fewer of them. The more beans you puree, the thicker the soup will be.
Top with shards of Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.