I received so many great suggestions when I asked for soysage suggestions that I was nearly overwhelmed! Last night I combined two suggestions and made peppers stuffed with red beans and rice. Since two people suggested it, I decided I’d definitely better make Italian Wedding Soup tonight. I’ve never made Italian Wedding Soup, so in my typical fashion I googled it and looked at a bunch of recipes, then with a general idea in mind, went into the kitchen and did my own thing. It looked like most recipes call for chicken broth, meatballs or sausage, and a bunch of green veggies. Spinach was called for most often, but I did see one recipe that called for a combination of broccoli and broccoli rabe and I really liked the idea of using the latter. (Other than Broccoli Cheez Soup, I’m not wild about regular broccoli in soups.) This soup turned out extremely well and I’ll definitely be making it again.
Italian Wedding Soup
1 1/2 cups chopped vegan “sausage” (I used Soysage from the New Farm cookbook)
7 cups vegan “chicken” stock
1 large leek, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (remember I LOVE garlic, so maybe that’s a lot)
5-6 leaves green cabbage, shredded
1/2 bunch broccoli rabe, chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 cup small pasta, such as orzo or tiny shells
freshly-ground black pepper
Brown the chopped “sausage” in a large skillet and set aside.
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat a small amount of oil, then add chopped leeks and sautÃ© for 3 minutes.
Add the carrots, celery, and garlic and sautÃ© for another 3 minutes.
Add the broth, cabbage, broccoli rabe, and thyme.
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes or until pasta is done. Season with pepper to taste. To serve, place soup in a bowl and stir sausage into individual bowls.
Makes about 4 large servings.
Note: if you aren’t using the New Farm Soysage, you may not have to cook and add the “sausage” separately. I happened to notice last night when I made the beans & rice, though, that the Soysage just about completely disintegrated as I fried it with the bean mixture, and I didn’t want my soup to take on the gritty texture of okara. Such a texture might be okay for beans & rice, or even a nice thick stew, but I felt it would ruin Italian Wedding Soup. I think the gluten-based “sausages” I’ve made in past would have held their form if I’d just fried them with the leeks. Honestly, I’m not in love with the Soysage. I guess okara and I just don’t get along.
Anyway, the soup turned out great. When Mark surfaced from his man-cave to get a second serving, he informed me it was great and told me to tell the blog it was great. In fact, he called it “the best soup ever”, although he is prone to superlatives when it comes to my cooking. I’m also supposed to tell you that this soup was like a peanut because “the goodness is all inside”. (Earlier he informed me that I was like a peanut because the goodness is all inside and I asked him if he was trying to say I was ugly. But apparently he’s just into comparing everything to peanuts today.)
Thanks to everyone who made suggestions for the Soysage – especially the soup!