Sunday, September 06, 2009

A Tuscan Meal

This time of year my mind turns to soup and one of my favorites is perfectly timed with our CSA delivery and our garden output. The Tuscan Peasant Soup has been a favorite of mine for years.

Here is the original recipe:


  • 4 Italian sausages, mild, about 1 pound
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion; small
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1 salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 parmesan, grated or romano
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown Italian sausages on all sides; slice sausages 1/2-inch thick rounds. Use non-stick cooking spray or a little vegetable oil if using turkey Italian sausage. Pour off excess fat. Add to skillet the celery, zucchini and onion. Saute 2 minutes longer, stirring. In crockpot, combine beef broth, tomato sauce, and basil. Add sausage and vegetable mixture; cover and cook on LOW for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve this hearty soup with garlic bread or crusty Italian bread.

I make variations of this in Fall. This year we used tomatoes from our garden to make the sauce, I skipped the celery, and slow cooked it overnight before adding the sausage. We use summer squash and zucchini and added onion. I used ground sausage and made meatballs.

We had this for lunch with sliced Tuscan melon from our CSA delivery.

Each time the soup turns differently each time but I recommend trying it with your own variations during the cool days of Fall.


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