Updated 06/27/2012 05:00 AM
Recipe: Italian Sausage, Zucchini and Rice Soup
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4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup water
1/2 cup medium grain white rice (uncooked)
2 Italian sausage patties (or 2 links) crumbled
3/4-1 cup diced onion
2 medium zucchini, deseeded and cubed (see hints below)
olive oil for cooking veggies and sausage
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
dollop of basil pesto for garnish (optional)
Add 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock and 1 cup of water to a deep, heavy bottomed pot, add 1/2 cup medium grain white rice, bring that up to a simmer and let it cook along without a lid on top.
Once the rice is in the pot, add a splash of olive oil to a large, heavy bottomed soup pot, and cook the crumbled Italian sausage to brown that up.
Then take the sausage out of the pot and add about 3/4 cup of diced onion and 2 medium size, deseeded and diced zucchini and cook those to soften.
Add a little more olive oil to the vegetables if they need it and keep your eye on the rice, you want it to be just soft to the tooth, it'll take about 15 minutes to cook.
After a few minutes, when the zucchini is tender crisp, add 1 cup diced canned tomato, add the sausage back to the pot. Then very carefully add the stock and rice and let it simmer along for a few minutes, season to taste and it is good to go.
Serve it up with a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese and an optional dollop of basil pesto.
Plan on eating this right away, otherwise the rice will continue to absorb the liquid. Add more stock or water if you need to.
Cut the ends off of the zucchini, cut then into quarters lengthwise, carefully slice off the seed section and continue to cut the quarters into 1/2 cubes.
Start the sausage at the same time (or before) you get the rice going to make sure the rice isn't done before the rest.
Buy basil pesto premade or make your own by pureeing a good handful of basil leaves with a few walnuts or pinenuts, a small clove of garlic, a bit of grated parmesan cheese and just enough olive oil to give it a pesto consistency.