Italian Sausage Soup

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It definitely feels like fall around here, it has been raining for the last 24 hours and the temperature dropped about 20 degrees. The windows have been closed, the heater turned on, and it is a perfect evening for some soup! With a bountiful supply of zucchini, I decided to make one of my favorites: Italian Sausage.

This recipe makes a LOT of soup, so unless you’re feeding an army, be prepared to freeze some. Just remember only add the pasta to the soup that will be eaten that day. Because no one wants overcooked pasta that turns to mush when you reheat it!

Italian Sausage Soup

2 lbs hot & sweet Italian sausage (1 lb of each works well for a nice bite)

2 medium onions, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 c dry white wine (red works as well)

10 c chicken broth

1- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes in puree

4 carrots, peeled and finely diced

2 green bell peppers, finely diced

4 zucchini, finely diced

2 Tbl fresh basil (or 2 tsp dried)

1 Tbl fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)

1 c uncooked orzo (any small pasta will work)

salt and pepper, to taste

Remove casing from sausage and brown in a large soup pan, breaking up into small pieces. Drain fat. Add onion and garlic, cook until soft. Add wine, chicken broth, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, zucchini and herbs. Bring to a boil and cook for 20-30 minutes. Add orzo for last 10 minutes of cooking. Serve soup with Parmesan cheese.

**If freezing, do not add orzo. Instead, when reheating the soup, add the orzo when the soup comes to a boil and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Another option is to cook all of the orzo in a separate pot, drain the water and portion into bags and freeze. Add orzo after soup has been reheated.**

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