6 hours ago
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Why does my soup taste different than your soup?
I was thinking about that when I made this recipe.
It's because we all use different types of meats & stock.
My soup never comes out the same the second time around.
It's because my chicken stock made from a roast chicken carcass, or the whole bird, is different tasting every time. Sometimes it's very salty and dark, sometimes it light and herbacious (from whatever herbs I use to roast the bird with).
Also, we all use different flavored and types of sausage (turkey, pork, hot, sweet, fennel).
If you live in New Jersey, and you still haven't bought homemade sausage from Vacchiano Farms, then I have no sympathy for you.
You can call them and place an order and pick it up at Mrs. V's house in Madison, and they are at every farmer's market around, even in Montclair in the winter.
Tell Anthony that I sent you.
Here, I use their locally made broccoli rabe sausage, which is lean, studded with rabe and Pecorino. It's the BEST.
It goes perfectly with this soup, but I realize if you don't live in the Garden State, then you will have to find good sausage from your local butcher. None of that greasy Shop-Rite stuff here, I beg of you.
I love these little canned cherry tomatoes from Italy, but if you can't find them, use whole cherry tomatoes, or diced tomatoes in the can.
I also have been saving the fat from my roast chicken lately. I freeze it, so I have it to saute potatoes or vegetables.
It is just a little bonus of extra goodness.
I know I am bossy when it comes to ingredients, but it really does make a difference when you go that extra mile to find better.
It's worth it if you are going to cook.
Here's how I make this delicious bowl of goodness: (with bossy suggestions in parenthesis)
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
chicken fat (schmaltz) or olive oil
1 bunch of Broccoli Rabe (also known as rapini), chopped
1-2 cans of white beans (I like Goya small beans for this soup, they hold up well)
3 good quality sausage links, sliced into 1/2" coins
1 cup of canned cherry tomatoes (or diced tomatoes)
6 cups of good quality chicken stock (Swanson's Natural Goodness is good, if you don't have homemade)
Parmigiano Reggiano & hot pepper flakes for top
In a large Dutch oven, heat the fat or olive oil and saute the onions, carrots and garlic for a minute until fragrant.
Add in the sausage and cook with the vegetables for about 5 minutes, till all the pink is out of the meat.
Add in the tomatoes, stock, rabe and beans and bring to a boil.
Turn down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Ladle into bowls and grate on fresh Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
This is such a hearty, delicious soup. I love it with a fried egg on top, and when you break it, the yolk oozes out.
That's my thing lately.
Thanks for letting me boss you.