This is a chunky, hearty soup, full of colour, flavour and texture, perfect for a cold winter dinner.
We are back to the red peppers in my fridge...we bought more than we realised, but I have slowly been working my way through them, and this hearty soup used the last one.
I used to make this soup a lot, and for some reason haven't done so for quite a few years, but it came to mind when I had all of the peppers in the fridge. As I had a few cannellini beans and 2 containers of chicken stock in the freezer, it made sense to make this again...and after eating it, we both wondered why it's been so long since I last made it!
I used to make this with hot Italian sausages, but I had 2 roasted red pepper and asiago sausages in the freezer, and they worked really well. I allowed the flavours from the sausage and vegetables to season the soup, adding just the needed salt and pepper right at the end.
In a bit of olive oil, cook:
2 sausages, removed from the casings
Start on a low heat to release the fat from the sausage and then increase the heat to cook the sausage. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside. Keep the pan to make the soup.
To the pan, add a bit more olive oil, and then cook until starting to soften:
2 medium carrots, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
When the carrots and onions are soft, add the cooked sausage back to the pan.
1 large sweet red pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Now add the chicken stock, and then allow the soup to simmer until the carrots and onions are nice and tender.
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup cannellini beans, rinsed
Cook for a couple of minutes, and then taste and adjust the seasoning. I needed only a small amount of salt and pepper.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with fresh grated Parmesan. Serve with warm crusty bread...your hearty, soul warming winter soup is ready to eat. Enjoy!
- Any sausage will work, mine was a pork sausage with chunks of roasted red pepper and Asiago cheese in it. Use your favourite sausages, or any leftover sausages that were cooked for another meal.
- Feel free to add extra vegetables such as celery, zucchini, butternut squash, turnip or leeks. Shredded greens such as kale or spinach can also be added. Diced, canned tomatoes can also be added.
- The beans can be omitted if you like, or even increased and the sausage omitted, to make this a vegetarian soup (use vegetable stock instead of chicken).
- The soup can be made a couple of days ahead of time; it can also be made and frozen.
- The addition of fresh herbs such as thyme or parsley; spices such as fennel or cayenne pepper will add to the flavour.