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December 28, 2010

Recipe for chicken sausage, zucchini and mushroom soup

Chicken sausage, zucchini and mushroom soup

"Spontaneity is so often the result of elaborate planning." I read that in the Wall Street Journal last week, in an article about the merits of a well-stocked pantry, and it describes this sausage, zucchini and mushroom soup perfectly. At the time this soup felt like a spontaneous combustion, but I suspect I'd had it in mind all week. In the pantry, I found some hot Italian chicken sausage, studded with fragrant fennel seed, along with a couple of zucchini and some sliced white mushrooms that needed to be used. My cheese drawer always holds a precious collection of Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds, which add body and a bit of salt to any type of vegetable soup.

Chicken sausage, zucchini and mushroom soup

Serves 4-6; can be doubled, and can be frozen.


2 tsp olive oil
12 oz spicy Italian chicken sausage (4 links), cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4-inch half-moons
2 leeks, trimmed and washed, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 zucchini, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4-inch half moons
8 oz thick-sliced button or cremini mushrooms
1 tsp thyme leaf
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 quart chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium store-bought
1 piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish (optional)


In a five-quart Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned on both sides. Stir in the leeks, zucchini and mushrooms, and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, until the leeks are wilted. Add the thyme and red pepper flakes, and stir for 30 seconds.

Pour in the broth, toss in the cheese rind, and raise the heat to high. When the soup comes to a boil, lower the heat to simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve hot, topped with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Maria | December 28, 2010 at 05:01 PM

What a great soup for a cold day like today!

Posted by: pam | December 28, 2010 at 07:56 PM

This is totally my kind of soup!

Posted by: Lydia | December 28, 2010 at 10:55 PM

Maria, this soup was just what I wanted when I came in from shoveling snow.

Pam, me, too. And it came together so quickly (which is also my kind of soup!).

Posted by: Kalynskitchen | December 28, 2010 at 10:56 PM

Sounds good, and it's phase one! (I know not everyone cares about that, but I do right now.)

Posted by: Cheryl Ramos | December 29, 2010 at 08:00 PM

I'm not shoveling snow in northern california, but my jeans are soaked from the knees down due to the pounding rain we received over the last 24 hours. This soup will definitely warm me up. Thank you!

Posted by: Lydia | December 29, 2010 at 09:27 PM

Kalyn, that's good to know for South Beach Diet followers.

Cheryl, this is absolutely a soup to warm you up. Seems both coasts are having extreme weather this month.

Posted by: CJ McD | December 30, 2010 at 11:19 AM

A perfect winter soup. Hearty enough to stand up to a winter storm, yet brothy and light enough for a soothing, post holiday meal.

We are knee deep in soup weather and this recipe surely hits the spot!

Posted by: Lydia | December 30, 2010 at 11:35 PM

CJ, I think my favorite type of soup has a thin broth and lots of chunky ingredients. A cream-based soup is delicious once in a while, but for everyday, I like brothy soups best.

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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