Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Zoupa

Spring is not always warm so I still like to make soup, though I tend to make lighter soups.  My winter soups have lots of root vegetables and I often puree them.  Spring soups are still full of good stuff and usually meat too, but they are more likely to have zucchini and mushrooms and not be pureed.  Fresh vegetables are a bit problematic for me as I am not able to cook as often as I would like and the softer vegetables go off quicker than the winter vegetables do.  Today I discovered that my tomatoes had actually sprouted inside.  The Scot in me thought, "Great, two for the price of one.  Sprouts and tomatoes!"  Yep that's right, there is Scottish blood in me certainly but no Italian blood.  Still, I'm faking it as this soup is sort of Greek/Italian inspired and there's no haggis anywhere in sight.


I used ingredients I had on hand and got started before I thought of actually keeping track of what I did so these measurements are more guidelines than precise. But that's the joy of cooking.

1 lb Italian style sausage meet, no casings
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
two handfuls baby spinach, chopped
1 lb mushrooms (I used crimini), chopped
700 mL chicken stock (I didn't really measure this, I just poured it out and didn't use the whole carton but I could have)
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
handful of shredded parmesan cheese
handful of chopped feta cheese

Sautee the onion and the crumbled sausage meat in a large pot until the sausage is cooked through.  Drain off most of the fat.







 Add the garlic and vegetables and stir to sautee everything a bit more.  Add the broth and simmer all ingredients about half an hour.  Separate the yolks and set aside the whites for another use.  With the soup on low heat, stir in the  yolks and the cheese and let soup simmer on low heat for another five or ten minutes.

I didn't use any additional seasonings because the sausage was seasoned already.  I would have typically used canned tomatoes but didn't have any and happened to have fresh ones.  I sometimes have my own homemade stock on hand and other times I have some in tetra packs, which is what I used in this soup and that means it is also seasoned and salted so no need to add any more.

I found this to be so delicious I will definitely  make it again and would seek out the ingredients to do so.  It makes a hearty meal and could include pasta added to the soup or be served with bread and salad.

A brief note:

I used to just chop up garlic with a knife, finding garlic presses to be a pain to clean.  Then I found this one, which is made by Trudeau, probably a Canadian company though I don't know for sure.  It has the most clever mechanism for cleaning itself.

When used this way, it crushes the garlic.
After you scrape out the garlic, which is easy to do, you bend the press in the opposite direction and those blue spike things press through it and clean it out perfectly. I do stick it in the dishwasher after this step, to wash off the residue of garlic juice which can be kind of sticky.

This is what it looks like after I pressed out the garlic.  I have used other garlic presses that claimed to self clean but they were never very good.  This one is excellent and nobody is paying me to say so.


21 comments:

  1. Looks and sounds delicious! I love soups, but rarely use a recipe, I just make it up as I go along and it usually turns out OK.
    I have just broken our garlic crusher, it snapped in my hand, so I will look out for a self-cleaning one now! xxxx

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    1. I love soup too and today is a bit stormy so it's a perfect soup day. I rarely use a recipe either but have some favourites stored away in my head. This one was newly invented so I quickly jotted down what I had done. I do like to repeat my favourites when I can.

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  2. Yum the soup looks delicious. I can't wait for the weather to get cool … just so I can make my potato and leek soup. It's my all time favourite … and I miss it all summer long.
    xx

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    1. I love leek and potato soup too and it is nearly leek season here! Mum and dad will have some in their garden so I will make soup.

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  3. Oooh, boyfriend would looove this. He freakin loves sausage and I can't stand it :D

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    1. You could make this soup without the sausage or perhaps with chicken if you prefer. but you'd want to add some more seasonings since I relied on the ones that came with the Italian sausage. I am like your boyfriend and I love sausage. :D

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  4. Yum! My daughter just asked me if I could make soup for dinner tonight, so I might have to steal this recipe!!

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    1. It's a bit stormy today, so a perfect soup day here. Please do 'steal' the recipe. That's why I shared it. :D

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  5. I love soups and eat them all year round (it's Russian thing). I was contemplating to post my borsht recipe for quite a while now. You inspire me to do it soon, Shawna. :)

    I bet your soup is tasty and cozy. We are having a gray day here, wonderful for hot soup, or a stew, or a good old shepherd's pie. :) Thank you for the tip about garlic press. They are usually pain in a but, so I just crash garlic with a knife. But this one looks smart.

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    1. I must be Russian then. Well of course I am, since I have a cousin who is a Russian supermodel. I'm looking forward to your borsht recipe. I love borsht except I confess I like to eat it warm not cold. We are having a grey day too and it's a bit windy. It's a perfect soup day.

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  6. This soup looks so delicious. I have been searching for recipes to do in moderate to warm weather --living in San Francisco for a decade, all of mine were super rich thick stews and spicy foods to warm up. I can't wait to try yours!

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    1. I live on the west coast too, and find soup is perfect year round except on the hottest days in summer. I rather envy you having lived in San Francisco. I think it's gorgeous there! I love the northern California and southern Oregon coast. I could live anywhere between Newport Oregon and Monterey Bay but I'd need to be independently wealthy so I can afford a beach house.

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  7. This looks awesome and I need one of those garlic things ASAP.

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    1. I hope you can find one. I think part of the secret to it's success is large holes and long spikes. I've had a similar style but everything was smaller and it just didn't clean as well.

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  8. I have an old style garlic press and it is always a pain in the butt to clean. This one looks WAY better.

    I love soup. This is making me hungry!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. I've tried several garlic presses and I really love this one. I bought it at Winners but I am sure I've seen the Trudeau brand in other stores too.
      xo

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  9. love soups!!!
    often make a 10l pot and eat them for days, they get better with every warm up.

    after using a garlic press in the early 90´s and trowing it out of the window because of the cleaning i only chop the garlic - not to tiny, i like to bite on it :-)

    happy easter!!!!!
    xxxx

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    1. Happy Easter to you too! I like making big pots of soup and eating it for days too but I always try to get some into the freezer to feed me on the days I can barely get out of bed.
      I hope the garlic press didn't hit anyone on the head when you tossed it out the window. That could hurt!
      xo

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  10. Hi Shawna, I am a lover of all foods Italian so I will be frequently visiting your blog :). Following you on g+ now. Come visit me sometime @ http://thecookingwardrobe.blogspot.com.au

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    1. Hi Elsie. I love Italian food too, though I am not going to claim to be an expert at it! Much of what I cook is loosely mediterranean in style. I sometimes combine Greek and Italian influences. Thanks for visiting my blog, Elsie. I will come and visit you too when I get back from getting groceries.

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