Italian Sausage, Zucchini, and Macaroni Soup
4-5 links hot Italian Sausage, cut into 3/8 inch slices
2-3 tsp. olive oil, for browning sausage
1 small onion, diced
1 T finely chopped fresh garlic (or garlic puree)
2 cups diced zucchini
6 cups homemade chicken stock (or 4 15 oz cans cans chicken broth, reduced slightly)
3 cups frozen slow-roasted tomatoes (or 2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes with juice)
1-2 cups water
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil
1 cup Dreamfield’s macaroni or whole wheat macaroni (or less, or skip the macaroni and use a little more zucchini for a low-carb and gluten-free soup)
3 T minced fresh basil (optional, or you can use frozen basil)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving soup
Heat olive oil in large nonstick frying pan, add sausage and cook until well browned and firm. Remove sausage to cutting board and cut in 3/8 inch slices.
Put sausage back in frying pan and brown both sides of slices well. (If you used pre-cooked turkey Italian Sausage, you can just slice the sausage and brown it.)
While sausage browns, combine chicken stock, roasted tomatoes, oregano, and basil in medium stock pot and start to simmer. When sausage is thoroughly browned, add it to stock mixture.
Put onions in pan you used to brown sausage and saute 3-4 minutes, until starting to soften. Add minced garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add onions and garlic to soup. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup water and add to soup, then simmer 30 minutes.
Cut ends off zucchini and cut lengthwise into fourths, then trim away all but 3/8 inch of white part. Cut zucchini strips into 1/2 inch slices. Add zuccini to soup and simmer 15 minutes. Taste soup for flavor and add second cup of water if needed.
Measure 1 cup of dried whole wheat or macaroni.
Add pasta, check heat to be sure soup is at a very gentle boil and cook 15 minutes more. Stir in fresh basil if using and cook 5 minutes more. Serve soup hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese to add at the table.