Last week we had a string of cool, dry days that made me look forward to autumn… and also put me in the mood for fall comfort foods. So…. what says “comfort” more than a big pot of homemade soup?? We had the soup for dinner the first night, and then had it for many lunches the following week. There’s nothing better than having a pot of delicious homemade soup in the refrigerator, just waiting to be heated up for a quick and satisfying meal (of course, I’m sure there are a few things in the grand scheme of life that are better than soup… but not many…..)
Italian Sausage & Chicken Soup Recipe
Makes 6-7 quarts
- 1 pound mild Italian sausage (bulk or links with casing removed)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 stalks celery, washed and chopped
- 3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 quarts (12 cups) water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 – 1 1/2 pounds whole boneless skinless chicken breast
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 small yellow summer squash AND 1 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise then cut into 1/4” slices
- 1 1/4 cup dry small pasta (such as small elbows or ditalini), cooked al dente according to package directions
- Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese for serving
Brown sausage in large soup pot, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. When well browned, remove sausage to a bowl that has been lined with paper towels. Drain excess fat out of soup pot, leaving a thin film of fat at the bottom of the pot. Add olive oil to pot.
Add onions, celery, and carrots to pot. Saute over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add water, salt, Italian seasoning and chicken to pot. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes until chicken is done. Remove chicken to large bowl until cool enough to handle.
Add tomatoes and sausage back to pot. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into small pieces using 2 forks or your hands. Add chicken to pot.
Bring soup to simmer and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes. Add squash, zucchini and pasta and cook until squash and zucchini are fork tender but not overcooked (about 8 minutes.)
Serve sprinkled with cheese.
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