An amalgam of autumn flavors

Make use of the weekend’s leftovers in fridge in a hearty soup

Chicago TribuneDecember 4, 2013 

It had been a busy weekend of cooking. So busy that by the time Monday night rolled around, I wanted something easy for a post-work dinner.

In the fridge, I spied the chicken broth I’d made the day before, plus the unused half of a butternut squash — leftover from a new risotto recipe from Saturday. Bonus, most of it was already cut up into small cubes because I had prepped way more than the recipe needed. It was beginning to sound like soup.

What else could go in? There was half a bunch of rapini, also orphaned from the risotto project. And some chicken sausage and sweet red peppers; they wouldn’t take much work. It was looking like soup indeed.

FAST SOUP from C3

MONDAY NIGHT SOUP 1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

2 Italian sausage links

8 cups homemade chicken broth or 1 carton (32 ounces) low-sodium broth

2 cups butternut squash, in small cubes

2 cups tubetti pasta, or another small shape

4 or 5 stalks rapini, tough stems trimmed, coarsely chopped

2 small red peppers or 1 medium red bell pepper, in medium dice

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese

Remove sausage from casings; form into small balls, about 1 inch wide. Cook in a skillet over medium heat until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion; sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the broth and remaining salt to the saucepan; heat to a boil. When boiling, add the squash and pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente and squash is done, about 10 minutes. Add the rapini (also called broccoli rabe) and red pepper 1 or 2 minutes before the pasta is done.

Add the sausage balls; season with pepper and more salt, if needed. Serve the soup topped with grated cheese.

Nutrition information per serving: 544 calories, 22 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 34 mg cholesterol, 62 g carbohydrates, 32 g protein, 1,079 mg sodium, 8 g fiber

Prep: 15 minutes / Cook: 20 minutes Yield: Makes 4 servings

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