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Super Simple Sausage Soup Balls technique

October 31, 2018

Hey there local food eaters,

What a gorgeous fall day! Here's hoping you can get outside and enjoy it - whether you can escape for a long hike in the woods or even if it's just a trip around the neighborhood for trick or treat. :)

 

One of our favorite fall and winter staples, as you know, is soup. 
I love soup, and could eat it for ever meal. To me, it is a perfect bowl: soothing, warming, nourishing, flavorful, and delicious. 
And, best of all, EASY. 

 

One of my favorite things to do with whatever vegetables are in season (or my refrigerator) is to simmer in broth and add sausage. Nothing could be quicker and more reliable to please and fill hungry bellies. 

 

Sausage Soup Technique
This is not really a recipe, but more of a universal technique, a formula for good sausage & vegetable soup. 

1. Heat Broth/ stock

When you finish eating the meat off of your chicken carcass or ribs, save the bones in a ziploc bag in the freezer. When you have a pot full, simmer on the stove, crockpot, or instant pot to make bone broth. 
Once made, freeze a few quarts to have on hand for when you need them.

2. Add Vegetables

Onions, carrots, and celery are the first picks. Then greens of any kind, potatoes, squash, garlic, cabbage. Don't forget about leftover vegetables - small containers of steamed green beens, broccoli, cold mashed potatoes are great additions to soup, not to mention a good way to use them up.

In terms of quantities, it depends on how much broth you are using and people you are feeding. I like to cook by feel, and sort of eyeball it. (If this type of cooking doesn't appeal to you, skip ahead to the sausage technique!)
The ratio that I usually aim for is to imagine the pot filled with broth to about 2 inches from the top, with about 2/3rds of the volume of the pot being 'stuff' (veggies and meat). That way each bowl can contain a good mix of liquid and solids. 
The way to do this is to start with your pot 1/3 to half full of broth, and add vegetables and meat until it is almost full.

I realize this is a vast simplification, but the reality is that the quantities are truly dependent on your taste and what you have. 
Here's an example of quantities that would meet this ratio that can be scaled up:
1 quart broth
1 onion
3 carrots
3 stalks of celery
1 small bunch of greens (kale/chard)
1 pound of sausage

3. Add Sausage

Lincolnshire is a nice mild sausage that will always make a nice soup; it goes perfectly with squash.

Some other flavor ideas:
Hot Italian with rice and greens.
Sweet Italian with little noodles and canned tomatoes.
Chorizo with beans.

Create meatballs from raw sausage links - see video below.

4. Season
 

After simmering all together, don't forget to taste and salt. I always add something acidic - a dash of cider vinegar or blob of tomato paste really boosts the flavor. 

 

Process: 

Start with your pot of stock, half full. Add your vegetables, longest cooking first.

Next make your sausage balls. 

 

Here is how I do it. The casings tend to get a little rubbery in soup, so I like to squeeze the sausage out, forming little rounds that plop directly into the simmering soup like this:

 

 

Super simple technique for cooking raw sausage links into meatballs in soup. 

 

Cook all together for 10-20 minutes, until sausage is cooked through and veggies are tender.
Like most soups, this is even better the next day, "ribolitta", or reboiled.


Enjoy!

Thanks for supporting local foods,

~Brooks & Anna

Explore the Meat CSA here

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