Italian Sausage Vegetable Soup is full of leftover freezer vegetables, sausage, and some Parmesan rinds. It is the perfect way to clear the freezer of odds and ends and have a hearty meal to eat when you’re finished.
I know I’ve talked about the bread shelf in the pantry. It’s a constant struggle I talked about in the individual croissant bread pudding post. It’s a constant struggle between having fresh bread and the stale bread and then figuring out what to do with still bread.
The freezer is kind of like that for me too.
I always forget to check the freezer to see what vegetables we have on hand. And then I do the grocery list and wind up purchasing vegetables that we already have in the freezer. So, you can see the similarities between the bread shelf in the pantry and the vegetables in the freezer.
So, I said to my husband recently that one day I was going to make a vegetable soup out of all of the vegetables from the freezer. That’s exactly what I did. I rounded up a bag and a half of peas, half a bag of carrots and peas, and a bag of broccoli and corn. No, the broccoli and corn aren’t in the same bag. That would be a strange combination.
Along with the vegetables I had two links of Italian sausage leftover from another recipe. But that wasn’t going to be enough meat for all the vegetables that were in the pot. So, I went digging in the freezer and found another package of sun-dried tomato chicken sausage. I cut those up and added in there too.
This is almost a complete freezer meal.
I say almost because I didn’t feel like there was enough corn so I added a can of corn. But the recipe allows for a full 12-ounce bag of corn. I thought I had more corn in the freezer than I did and I wanted more corn. Otherwise, the soup would have been like 90% peas which is never very fun.
When I’m making a vegetable soup, I usually just use all tomato juice or vegetable juice. But I wanted some depth of flavor to the broth to go along with the Italian sausage, the sun-dried tomato sausage, and the Italian seasonings that I put in the pot. So I decided to add some beef broth.
I know there’s no beef in the soup. I actually intended on putting beef in the soup. This soup was going to be a beef vegetable soup. But then I remembered the Italian sausages. I needed to use those before they went bad. So, it’s an Italian sausage soup.
I also wanted that real rich Italian flavor. So, I added in some Parmesan rinds. If you haven’t made a soup, any kind of Italian soup, without putting Parmesan rinds in there to simmer you are missing out. Parmesan rinds add this Parmesan flavor but without all that cheesiness that sometimes hinders a soup. Because well we all know cheese melted into broth without any kind of a thickener is just globs of cheese in the bottom of the pan. We know this from French onion soup.
I’ve used Parmesan rinds In my white Bolognese lasagna and my hearty vegetable soup with Tuscan sausage. Now you’re thinking to yourself, “What’s the difference between Italian sausage vegetable soup and your hearty vegetable soup with Tuscan sausage?” And that is a very good question.
That soup focuses on more the broth then the entire soup. It talks about using all the bits and pieces that you’re not going to eat in the soup to make the broth. For example, carrot tops, the ends of the zucchini, and whole onions with the skin. And that soup has squash and zucchini in it along with rainbow carrots and celery. So, it really is a different kind of soup altogether.
Just look at that bowl full of vegetables and sausage and deliciousness. And with the vegetables being frozen it really comes together quickly and easily. Which is great! It allows the soup to simmer longer when you don’t have to worry about cooking the vegetables. I simmered our soup for at least two hours I think. But don’t quote me on that.
I considered putting pasta in this Italian sausage vegetable soup. But I was concerned about the pasta being overcooked if I simmered it too long. So I decided to add a can of cannellini beans. For me it’s an either or most of the time. You either put beans or pasta in a soup . I will rarely put both of them in a soup. Not that I wouldn’t but it’s just my preferences. So, this soup just has beans.
See all of the peas?
Now you know why I went looking for more corn or at least another can of some other kind of vegetable. For this shot I tried to find some broccoli pieces. But I really couldn’t find any period I think they floated to the top and we ate most of those first. So, keep that in mind. The leftovers might not have as much broccoli as the original bowl.
You can add whatever vegetables you have on hand. If you have a bag of pepper and onion mix add that. If you have what they call the Normandy mix in my grocery store which is yellow squash, zucchini, I think there’s carrots and maybe onion in there. Throw that in there. This Italian sausage vegetable soup gives you an idea of what you can do with what you have on hand. If you have edamame, I’m sure it would be an interesting addition to this soup throw it in there. You get the point.
Use what you have and make it amazing soup.
Yes, as a matter of fact it did make for an amazing bowl of soup for lunch the next day. I reheated a smaller bowl and had a roast beef sandwich to go with it which was the perfect lunch for a chilly January day. Much like today is probably going to be. Because that’s how the weather is in this part of the world in January.
It’s always cold. Very cold. And usually involves lots of snow. I know this because my birthday is in January. And there almost always is snow on the ground for my birthday. There have been many a birthday that were postponed because of weather. So, a warm bowl of Italian sausage vegetable soup is always in order around this time of year.
- 4 slices chopped, thick cut bacon
- 2 cups thinly sliced onion
- 2 cups sliced celery
- 1 pound Italian sausage sliced
- 12 ounces frozen peas, thawed
- 12 ounces frozen peas and carrots, thawed
- 12 ounces frozen corn, thawed
- 12 ounces frozen broccoli florets, thawed
- 32 ounces beef broth
- 32 ounces vegetable juice
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese rinds
- 3 whole bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- Place the bacon in a large Dutch oven over high heat and cook until it begins to crisp.
- Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the onions and celery. Cook until they begin to soften.
- Stir in the sausage and cook until lightly browned.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer and cook until ready to serve; at least one hour.
- Carefully remove the Parmesan rinds and the bay leaves before serving with some garlic toast or crusty bread.
Amount Per Serving Calories 426Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 44mgSodium 1363mgCarbohydrates 39gFiber 8gSugar 13gProtein 24g
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