Have you noticed I have been making a lot of soups with sausage or ground meat lately? I have and I have to say, I don’t see this trend stopping anytime soon. It is just so convenient and makes throwing together a pot of soup so much quicker.
This Italian Sausage and Cabbage Soup was born out of convenience (and cold weather!). This past weekend, we had pretty much no groceries left in the house except for a head of cabbage, some carrots and a couple packages of Italian Sausage in the freezer. Since I always have garlic, onions and canned tomatoes of some sort in my pantry, I am not counting those.
I had the idea to make this soup a while ago but I always imagined fresh parsley as part of the equation. When I realized that all I had left in my house were these ingredients (except for the parsley!), I decided to go for it anyway.
This is a hardy winter soup, loaded with vegetables and sausage in every bite. Mild in flavor but with a nice balance from the tomatoes, this will please everyone in the family (kid approved!). Since I prefer a bit of heat, I sprinkled some crushed red pepper flakes on mine but that is totally optional.
If you have fresh parsley on hand, I think a tablespoon or so (finely chopped) added in right before serving would be fantastic!
- I used a local brand of Italian Sausage (Isernio’s) that is free of Gluten, MSG and anything artificial. Be sure to read your labels carefully and note that the seasonings in the brand you buy may slightly change the flavor of the soup. Subbing Spicy Sausage would be excellent if you want more of a kick!
- If you want to use Chicken or Turkey Sausage, you may need to add an additional tablespoon of oil and use it for cooking the Chicken Sausage, as the meat is lower in fat and may stick.
- 1½ pounds Mild Italian Sausage, removed from casing and crumbled
- 1½ Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium or 1 extra large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 5 to 6 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 medium carrots, cleaned and cut into ¼” rounds
- 1 head green cabbage (about 2 pounds), core removed and shredded
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus a couple pinches
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (unsalted)
- 6 cups chicken stock or broth
- crushed red pepper flakes for serving (optional)
- Remove sausage meat from casing. The easiest way to remove the uncooked sausage from the casings is to slice a vertical cut down the center of each sausage. Then just pick them up and “peel” off the casing – takes seconds and not that messy. (Warning: Gross Picture Alert!)
- Peel and thinly slice onion (I used my food processor to save time (with the slicing blade inserted).
- Finely chop garlic (Again, I used the food processor with the chopping blade inserted).
- Clean carrots (peel if necessary) and cut into ¼” rounds.
- Remove core from cabbage and shred. I used the food processor with the shredding blade inserted. Alternately, you could cut the cabbage into very thin slices.
- Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Once hot, add crumbled sausage. Cook, stirring occasionally, mostly to break up the sausage with a wooden spoon, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until most of the pink is gone.
- Remove sausage from pot and set aside.
- Keep the pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Once hot, toss in sliced onions along with a pinch of kosher salt and a couple turns of freshly ground pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until onions are soft.
- Add in garlic and carrots, stir continuously for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant.
- Raise heat to medium high and add in cabbage along with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and about 25 turns of freshly ground black pepper. Toss to combine and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until cabbage begins to wilt and release some moisture.
- Add cooked sausage back in along with diced tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, remove from heat and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve with a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes and Enjoy!