I made a quiche with my leftover Christmas ham Video #20 – A Christmas Ham with an Apple-Ginger Cider Glaze and I decided to make a good soup to go with the quiche. Soup and quiche is always a good combination, especially on a cold, wintery day. I found a recipe for an Italian sausage and pumpkin soup that I just had to try, and I am really glad I did too. The Italian name sounds much more exotic and romantic than the English version, but, io non parlo Italiano – Zuppa di Zucca con la Salsiccie.
The recipe is from an Italian cookbook, and it is Italian, but it also called for Italian sausage. I didn’t have Italian sausage this time, and didn’t really feel like going to get some. But I did have some spicy elk sausage that worked just perfectly. The point is, like I have said many times, use what you have. Recipes are really just guidelines. Improvise how you like. Make them your own. Be creative.
Italian Sausage and Pumpkin Soup
1 lb sausage – your choice
2 TBSP garlic
1/2 red onion, diced fine
1- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup chopped pumpkin or squash
1 TBSP fresh sage, or about 2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp thyme
1/2 cup sherry or Marsala wine
6 cups chicken stock
1 can pumpkin puree
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup uncooked pasta
Cook the sausage then remove from the heat and let cool. Slice into thin slices. Return the sliced sausage to the soup pot, add olive oil and all the vegetables. Saute for about 5 minutes.
Once the vegetables have softened a bit, add the sherry or Marsala and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Then mix in the pumpkin, chicken stock and seasonings.
Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 40-45 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the pasta, and bring the pot back up to a boil. Reduce the heat once again and simmer for about 10 minutes. Do not add the pasta earlier or it will soak up all the liquid and will turn to mush.
You can always add more chicken stock if need be too. Serve as soon as the pasta has completely cooked.
!Mangia e Buon Appetito!
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.