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Soup Season

Jan 20, 2022

January is absolutely soup season, and I am here for it. My husband is not really a casserole kind of guy, but he loves soup, and all winter long, I take advantage of that. There is something very cozy about a pot simmering on the stovetop and filling the house with delicious aromas.

Chili is the quintessential winter soup, but there is so much more. We make noodles and shred chicken for another classic. Beans are soaked and simmered with ham bones for something from my childhood. Creamy potato soups sometimes lean toward chowders, often with seafood. Chunks of beef are slowly braised with loads of vegetables and rich stocks. It feels so smart to thinly slice leftover pork and drop into brothy bowls with Asian noodles. While fresh ingredients are great, soup can easily come together with leftovers and pantry and freezer staples. And, on those days that we don’t have the time or inclination to put forth a lot of effort, a jar of home canned tomato soup is heated to pair with grilled cheese. I don’t know that there is a soup or stew that we don’t like.

Our current favorite soup is loaded with winter vegetables and gains a ton of flavor from spicy sausage. At first glance, you will think it also has tomatoes, but the color comes from a generous seasoning of smoked paprika. I have made it with both chicken and turkey broth, but vegetable broth would also work. Don’t skip splashing in the red wine vinegar. That bit of acid lends a brightness that really balances all the flavors in this simple and mouthwatering soup.


Sausage and Brussels Sprouts Soup

Sausage and Brussels sprouts soup warms on the coldest of January days.

(adapted from Eating Well)


4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage

1 cup diced onion

1/2 cup diced carrot

1/2 cup diced celery

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 1/2 cups cubed potatoes (I used red potatoes)

1 1/2 cups small to medium Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

4 cups chicken broth

2-4 tablespoons red-wine vinegar (start with 2Tbsp, taste, and add more as desired)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking up with the spoon, until browned. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, onion, carrot and celery to the pot; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add garlic and paprika; cook and stir just until fragrant. Add potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and broth; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and Brussels sprouts are tender.

Stir in the sausage, vinegar to taste, and season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with parsley.
(Serves 4)


Fran Hill has been blogging about food at On My Plate since October of 2006. She, her husband and their three dogs ranch near Colome.


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