Monday, February 6, 2012

Italian Peasant Soup

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Italian peasant soup
Although this soup is roughly based on the Italian traditional soup ribollita that Jamie Oliver published back in 2006, I could not comfortably name it that due to all of the major changes I have made to it.  I have found that for my household to enjoy any kind of soup item, especially if it is for dinner, it has to be very hardy, very chunky, and full of flavor.  Although I personally would love a more traditional ribollita I know I would be the only one eating the whole pot of it for a week or more.

Meatballs browning
This recipe makes a big batch of soup.  It stores well and can be portioned out and frozen then re-heated without any adverse affects.  I take a bit of extra time making the meatballs for it and this ensures that they remain intact throughout the cooking process and hold up as a hearty leftover.  Make a pot on the weekend when you have a bit more time and you will have great soup for lunch or dinner later in the week!

Italian Peasant Soup

Michelle K.
Use a highly flavored sausage that you really enjoy. You can use mild or spicy for variety. I use the sausage from Shawn's Quality Meats & Smokehouse, his house made Farm Sausage blend.


  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs oil
  • 1/2 large onion finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 4 cups kale, very thinly sliced (stems removed)
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can (15 oz) white beans
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine the bread crumbs and milk and let it sit for 15 minutes. While this is resting, prep your vegetables and remove the sausage from it's casings if you did not buy it in bulk.
  2. Combine the bread and milk mixture with the egg, stirring well. Add in the sausage and combine thoroughly.
  3. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high flame. Drop the sausage mixture by teaspoonfuls into the pot and brown, turning a couple of times. Do not turn the tiny meatballs too soon - you want a good dark crisp color on them. It will fade away a lot once added to the soup later on. Do this in small batches, removing the finished meatballs to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  4. Once all of the meatballs are browned and removed, turn the flame down to medium and add the onion, carrot and celery to the same pot. Do not clean the pot between these 2 steps because you want all that great flavor from browning the sausage to infuse your final soup.
  5. Sprinkle the vegetables with the salt and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and fennel and stir, just heating through until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  6. Pour in your chicken stock and can of rinsed beans (I prefer cannellini) and bring the pot up to a very gentle boil. This will take about 15 - 20 minutes depending on the temperature of your stock.
  7. Stir the kale into the boiling stock and let it begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the meatballs back to the pot, stirring to combine everything. Let everything simmer together for 30 minutes.
  8. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve piping hot and enjoy.
Yield: 10 servings

Prep Time: 00:35
Cook time: 00:40


Calories: 307
Total carbs: 20