Usually when I am preparing a meal to post on the blog, I just make something and The Artist gets that for dinner. His eyes lit up when I asked him to pick the recipe this time. He poured over Soup Swap: Comforting Recipes to Make and Share cookbook, marking several recipes for future meals. With the last name Bonacci, it is no wonder that The Artist chose Hope’s Italian Sausage and Zucchini Soup!
And boy oh boy, did he pick a winner! Packed with flavor and vegetables, I inhaled my bowl. We sat down to a lovely meal of hot soup, enjoying every single bite. I was “forced” to go back for seconds! 😉
Because so many sausages contain gluten fillers, I made my own using ground dark turkey, fennel seeds, oregano, onion powder, a little cayenne, salt, and pepper. The flavor was nearly the same as regular sausage and it was much healthier for me! 🙂 You can season it to suit your own tastes.
What’s not to love … Italian sausage is sautéed with onions and garlic to create the flavor base of the soup. Then you add tomatoes and herbs and simmer. Add some vegetables, a bunch of chopped zucchini, and top it off with some chicken stock. A little more simmering to cook the veggies and dinner is on the table! Perfect for busy weeknights or any party. It can also be made ahead and transports easily … making it perfect for a Soup Swap!
Have you heard of a soup swap before? It is such a great concept. You gather a group of friends who love to cook. Meet once a month at one of their houses. The hostess provides a salad or side dish, bread, and a light dessert. Then each person (or couple) brings a pot of soup to share. Everyone gets a small sample of each soup, then the rest of the soups go into containers for each person to take some home. You wind up with a refrigerator full of delicious, creative, and different soups – no more getting tired of eating the same soup day after day until it is gone!
The Artist gets tired of leftovers pretty quickly, so the concept of making a large pot of soup and swapping some of it with others to get a variety is a fabulous idea. You can invite as many as you like, but keep in mind that if the soups are to be served warm, you will need enough burners or other heating implements to handle them. There will definitely be a Soup Swap in our near future!
This is a lovely book, packed with recipes to suit everyone and each one has dietary designations (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and can be served cold) making is easy and quick to find those recipes that are perfect for you and your family. From the basics of stock and broths, to vegetable, poultry, meats, and seafood soups and chowders, there is truly something for everyone. Kathy even includes side dishes and garnishes to make every meal even more special. There is a mint-tangerine vinaigrette that has my name all over it!
Buy a couple of copies of the book, one for yourself and one to give to someone you love. I know you will turn to this cookbook time after time and the pages will soon become splattered, the sign of the most loved and best recipes in books! Be sure to try today’s Italian Sausage and Zucchini Soup soon!
How to make Italian Sausage and Zucchini Soup:
- Prep all the ingredients
- Brown the sausage in the oil, breaking up clumps
- Add onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper; add tomatoes, some of the herb blend, and sugar and simmer for 20 minutes
- Add the vegetables, chicken stock and red chili flakes if using
- Bring to a boil then simmer 15 to 20 minutes until vegetables are tender
- Ladle soup into mugs or bowls, garnish with Parmesan and some of the remaining herb mixture; serve
I am cutting back on my fat intake, can I use another type of meat?
I used a blend of turkey and pork to make my sausage but you could use all turkey sausage. It does cook more quickly than pork, so watch it carefully and add the other ingredients earlier than the recipe says.
If you are making a lot of sausage, form into patties and freeze until firm. Then you can stack them with squares of parchment or waxed paper between each one and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap several times and store in the freezer. If you wrap them in sets you can easily separate enough for a single meal or for parties.
Prep and assemble all your ingredients before you start cooking. You’ll find it easier to make the recipe and discover if you are missing something before you are in the middle of cooking.
Key Ingredients for this Recipe
- Olive oil
- Regular and spicy Italian sausage
- Onion, garlic, salt, and pepper
- Canned tomatoes
- Fresh basil, oregano, and parsley
- Zucchini, celery, and bell pepper
- Chicken stock
- Red chili flakes and Parmesan cheese
Kitchen Tools I Use to Make This Recipe (affiliate links)
Many sausages contain fillers that may include gluten ingredients. Always watch the labels carefully or ask your butcher. If in doubt, you can make your own sausage like I did with ground turkey or pork, or a combination of the two.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz (230g) sweet Italian turkey or pork sausage, casings removed
- 8 oz (230g) spicy Italian turkey or pork sausage, casings removed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Two 28-oz (794g) cans whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with their juices
- 2 tbsp packed mixture of chopped fresh basil, oregano, and parsley, plus 1/2 cup (30g)
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 lb (910g) zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-in (12-mm) slices
- 3 large celery stalks, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, deribbed, seeded, and diced
- 2 cups (480 ml) Basic Chicken Stock (page 29) or canned low-sodium broth
- Pinch of red chili flakes (optional)
- 1/2 cup (40g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large stockpot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add all the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking it up, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until just brown. (If there is a lot of grease, remove all but 1 tbsp of it.) Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, 2 tbsp herb mixture, and sugar and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
- Add the zucchini, celery, bell pepper, chicken stock, and red chili flakes (if using). Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
- Ladle the soup into mugs or bowls, garnish with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan and the remaining herb mixture, and serve.
- To Go: Pack the grated cheese and chopped herbs separately.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Chronicle Books
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 356Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 342mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 6gSugar: 17gProtein: 29g
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Disclosure: A copy of Kathy Gunst’s “Soup Swap: Comforting Recipes to Make and Share“ was provided by the publisher for me to review. I was not compensated for this post and as always all opinions stated are my own.
This post was first shared in Sept 2016. The article was updated in 2020.