Monday, 12 May 2014

Farro & Sausage Stew

It is still not quite cold enough here to warrant soup, but dang its officially fall and I have been craving soup. Especially last week since we all were hit hard with a nasty cold. Nothing better than soup to cure a cold. This soup was ridiculously easy to make. I googled a few recipes and then just created my own version. The sausage and white beans are a must in the soup, they give it great flavor. We added in a couple drizzles of our homemade hot sauce to give the soup even more heat and spice. You will want to dip the bread in the soup.

I've used dried beans to make the soup. You can certainly use canned, but if you've never cooked with dried beans, you should try it. Some people are confused about dried beans and don't know how to soak them and cook them. But there really is no mystery to it at all - it's very easy. Soaking simply softens the beans so that they have a shorter cooking time. That's all. And you don't really even have to soak them. If you forget to soak them, simply cook them longer. I just throw the beans in a pot and cover them with water and let them soak all day.

For those of you who are wondering when I made this soup the last time, it was almost a year ago - right after I started this lil blog. I thought I was going to be making a whole different soup, but realized after I read the recipe again that it wasn't what I thought it would be. But I ventured on and am I happy I did! If, by chance, you did see this recipe here way back then, take note that I have since changed the recipe to reflect the way I make it, instead of giving you the original with my additions or substitutions noted.

I came across the recipe one night bouncing around doing searches for soup ideas to make over the winter. It caught my eye because of it’s simplicity but it also reminded me so much of the Italian wedding soup I made last year. (absolutely DO check that out and make it. It’s incredible.) This is definitely not Italian wedding soup. Let’s be clear about that. It’s similar but totally different. The meatball ingredients are completely different for starters, the other has more veggies, this has tomato paste, etc. But I knew this would be a winner with what similarities they do have. It’ll feel less labor intensive that way.

While the stew is simmering, take care of your left over vegetables. I only used half a bag of carrots and half a bunch of celery in the stew. So, I washed, peeled and sliced the rest, placed them in a freezer bag and saved them for the next soup that I make. Most soups and stews start with a base of onion, carrot and celery so I’ll have less prep next time! I also saved my scraps and will place them in my “vegetable scraps” freezer bag to make a vegetable stock with later.


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