When fall comes and the weather turns cooler, nothing satisfies like a good, hearty soup.
This recipe is my own version of a nice, hearty tomato-based sausage soup. The recipe is easy and straightforward, and the result never fails to satisfy. A bowl of this soup, accompanied with a generous slice of rustic bread, is not just a meal unto itself; it’s a meal to remember. We often have soup parties, and of the many different soups we’ve served, this is the one that runs out if we don’t make a double batch.
There is always room for improvisation in a recipe like this. You can adjust the amount of crushed tomatoes to match your preference, or perhaps use fresh tomatoes if they are in season. Or as an option, adding a pinch of fresh cilantro to each bowl just before serving is a nice touch. If the sausage you are using does not contain any fennel, you might also consider adding a little fennel seed to the recipe.
The recipe is scaled for about 10 generous servings. I use a Le Creuset 10-quart enameled french oven, but any medium-sized pot will work just fine.
- 3 lbs. Italian sweet sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 2 cups red onions, finally chopped
- 4 teaspoons Emeril’s Essence
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups chicken stock
- freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook the diced bacon in a large-sized heavy duty pot over medium heat until it’s just starting to look done (about 2 minutes). Add the sausage and cook another five minutes, occasionally stirring, until the sausage is browned. Add in the Emeril’s Essence and the diced onions and cook, while stirring, for another five minutes or until the onions are softened.
- Add in the crushed red pepper and garlic and cook until fragrant (a minute or less). Then add in the crushed tomatoes, the chicken stock, and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste with the salt and the freshly ground black pepper., ladle into soup bowls and serve.