I’m all about easy cooking during these holiday months when things get al little crazier than usual. Luckily it also happens to coincide with soup season. With that, I’m mixing up one of my staple soups by adding in Johnsonville ground Italian Sausage and for extra sustenance.
A must, if I want to feed my hungry boys soup as a bonafide meal.
To build the flavors and the base I roasted cauliflower and fennel. The cauliflower will give the soup a creamy and rich tasting flavor. The fennel gives the soup some contrast, while the sausage gives the ensemble added depth—so make sure you brown the sausage in the pan you’ll be cooking the soup in. Lastly, I threw in some kale for a healthy hit because sneaking greens into soup is a great way to get my family to eat more of it.
For some time-saving tips, make sure to use the Johnsonville’s ground Italian sausage, that way you can bypass decasing the links. The vegetables can be roasted two days in advance.
To finish I melted a slice of Swiss cheese on top and then threw on some crispy kale chips and crunchy onions—totally optional. Skip it if you want, but I promise you aside from giving the soup some visual appeal, it adds another layer of flavor. Aside from that, there is just something about stabbing my way through cheese and slurping it down with my soup that I love.
**This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville Italian Sausage. The opinions and text are all mine.
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 4 sage leaves
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 shallots
- 1 lb. Johnsonville Sweet Italian ground sausage
- 2 heads cauliflower
- 1 large fennel bulb
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups chopped kale (optional)
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Swiss cheese slices
In a large soup pot heat butter until melted. Add sage and cook until crispy and butter is browned. Stir in garlic and shallots, cook until translucent. Add sausage, cook until browned. Set aside.
Cut cauliflower into 1-inch flowerets and fennel into into 1/4 inch slices and toss with olive oil. Spread vegetables onto a baking sheet in a single layer and roast at 425 degrees F in middle of oven until golden, about 30 minutes.
Add roasted cauliflower and fennel, broth, water, thyme ad bay leaf to pot with the garlic and sausage mixture. Place soup pot over medium heat, cook and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Puree mixture in batches until smooth. Return soup to pot and stir in cream and salt and pepper to taste. Heat soup until warmed through.
*Optional: Ladle soup into heat proof serving vessels (ramekins work great), top with swiss cheese and broil until cheese is browned and bubbly. Finish by topping cheese with crispy onions and kale chips.