I can't believe it's almost September. The summer passed very quickly and now I'm looking forward to cooler weather.
The markets are full of amazing produce at this time of year and a lot of it is local. I grabbed a link of my favourite smoked German sausage, then headed to the vegetable section. The nice thing about this soup is you can add almost anything you desire. Sometimes I'll add zucchini, broccoli, fennel or cauliflower as well as or in place of the green beans, bell pepper and kale. I love using fresh tomatoes, but they were very pricey this week, so I opted for canned instead. I have made this soup with either chicken or beef broth, white or red wine (or no wine at all) and a variety of sausages. The flavours change depending on what I've used, but the soup always manages to turn out really well. I use less in the way of seasoning for this soup because the sausage usually imparts its delicious flavour to both broth and vegetables.
Last March I was introduced to gremolata, a fresh condiment which is often used to finish a dish of braised meat. I thought it would be wonderful with this soup... and it was!
up to 1 tbsp olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of a soup pot)
about 1 lb meaty sausage, your choice, sliced into rounds
3-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
2 medium carrots, sliced
1/2 lb waxy potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
15oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup dry white or red wine (or use an additional cup of broth)
3 cups good quality broth
small handful green beans, trimmed and cut up
3 large leaves of kale, washed and sliced into ribbons
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
small handful fresh parsley, chopped
salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot with a tight fitting lid, then add the sausage and fry until it's nicely browned.
If the sausage rendered a large amount of fat, then remove some of it leaving about a tablespoon or slightly less. Reduce the heat and add the garlic and onions. Saute the mixture until the onions soften and become translucent.
Stir in the celery, carrots, potatoes, canned tomatoes, wine and broth. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Add the green beans, kale, red bell pepper and parsley. Lower the heat and cover the pot. Cook for another 25-45 minutes or until the vegetables can be easily pierced with a knife.
Check and adjust the seasoning if necessary with salt and pepper.
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp lemon zest, minced
Combine the parsley, garlic and lemon zest.
Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with the gremolata. Enjoy.