It's a Keeper: French Country Chicken and Sausage Soup

Now that Christmas is behind us, it's time to get back to regular business here at Everything Rachael Ray, starting with this recipe review. I tend to get a little soup obsessed when Fall and Winter hit. It's just such a cozy feeling to hang out in the warm kitchen, chopping and dropping the ingredients into a big pot of soup. It's even more fun when you do it on a Sunday, which is when I made this soup.

It's called French Country Chicken and Sausage Soup, but you won't find it online. It's from the old school Rachael Ray classic called Comfort Foods, which is perfect for one-pot wonder meals.

The only thing I don't like about Comfort Foods is that it doesn't include full menus. Instead, it includes a single recipe for a dish. Now, the reason I like the full menu set up is that it takes all the thinking out of cooking dinner. After thinking all day or all week at work, I just want my menu spoon fed to me. I admit it. However, with a soup, all you need is some bread and maybe a salad if you're in the mood.

Here's the recipe with my comments in brackets:

1/4 pound sweet sausage, in bulk, or remove links from casings [that's about one sausage link if you can't find it in bulk in your store]
2 tablespoons EVOO (twice around the pan), plus a drizzle for browning meat
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh meat, diced [I avoid the thigh meat and go for the leaner breast meat]
1 bulb fresh fennel, trimmed of tops and chopped [I hate fennel, so I skip it]
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, cracked and broken away from skin by whacking against the flat of a large knife
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
1 can (15 ounces) Great Northern white beans, drained
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 quart (32 ounces) chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped (a couple fresh sprigs), or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed in the palm of hand
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped (the yield of a few sprigs), or 1 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, crushed in palm
Black pepper, to taste
Garlic bread or garlic croutons, for topping soup [I just smeared chopped garlic on bread with butter and baked it at 350 until it was nice and melty and hot]

In a deep pot, brown sausage in a touch of olive oil over high heat. Remove sausage and drain on paper towels. Wipe pan out and return to stove, reducing heat to medium high. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to pot and then add chicken. Brown chicken for 2 to 3 minutes. Add fennel [or not], onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Cover pot and cook vegetables for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove cases and add beans, tomatoes, chicken broth, rosemary, thyme, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until ready to serve. For a thinner soup, add up to 2 cups water.

Serve soup with chunks of garlic bread for dipping or float garlic croutons on top of the soup.

A few more pics:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! Reading comments and responding to them is one of my favorite parts of having a blog, so thanks for contributing.