David spent the day snowboarding two Sundays ago, which inspired me to cook a big pot of soup. What better dinner to come home to after a frosty day on the slopes? A house smelling of simmering sausage and vegetables in chicken broth, fresh bread warming in the oven…
I had been thinking of this pot of soup for a while, just waiting for an afternoon at home when I could put it together. I was inspired by a recipe I found in a 2011 issue of Sunset Magazine, which happens to be my favorite magazine for all things Northwest- restaurants, shopping, planting tips, travel ideas, etc.- and knew I wanted it to have chicken sausage, chard, and artichoke hearts, but I also wanted to add some more earthy elements to round out the flavors and to make it more hearty. I decided on potatoes because I have so many sitting around right now waiting to be used and mushrooms, both of which provided the earthiness and hearty element I was hoping for. The sour dough bread paired with the soup quite well and we were actually all wishing for a bit bigger of a loaf to sop up our broth with!
This was a very good bowl of soup, and quite pretty to look at too! It would be worthy of a shared meal, but also perfect for a casual Sunday supper or a quick weeknight meal with just your family. You can choose to simmer the broth with the sausage and potatoes for the afternoon or just enough time for the potatoes to soften- depends on how much time you have on your hands. The soup is yummy, versatile, and easy to make. I hope you try it.
Italian Chicken Sausage and Vegetable Soup
adapted from Sunset Magazine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Italian chicken sausage, cut into small pieces
32 ounces reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 small russet potatoes, cut into small chunks
32 ounces free range chicken broth
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
14 ounce can artichoke hearts, quartered
1 pound chard, chopped
Warm sour dough bread
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook sausage until browned, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add 32 ounces of broth and the potatoes and simmer for 30 minutes, or longer if you have the luxury of time.
Add the remaining 32 ounces of broth along with the mushrooms and artichokes and continue to simmer.
Right before you are ready to eat, add chard and cook, covered, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with warm sour dough bread and unsalted butter.