Totally Rustic

Now that it’s finally cooled off a bit here in LA, I feel less awkward about sharing a rugged winter soup. I doubt there’s anyone other than me who loves slurping scalding liquid by the spoonful while the sun hails its fiery wrath upon the kingdom. Maybe I’m wrong! If so, I’ll see you back here next week when the temps are supposed to creep back into the 80’s. But for today there is cloud cover. Quick! Make some soup!

This soup is made with spelt, a chewy, nutty, hi-protein grain. It’s also called an ancient grain which means it’s been around longer than you. Respect. Also making appearances are kale, spicy chicken sausage, fennel, onion, mushrooms, tomato, garlic, carrots and red wine. Yes, red wine makes your soup taste delicious!

The recipe I’m giving makes a GENEROUS pot of this stuff which is perfect for a dinner with friends after a day on the slopes. If, however, like me you have no friends there will be plenty to freeze for that one cold Los Angeles winter day NEXT year.

Rustic Italian Sausage & Mushroom Soup Adapted from Whole Foods

Ingredients:

¼ C  EVOO

2 Carrots, chopped

1 large Yellow Onion

10 Cloves Garlic (4 minced, 6 kept whole)

4 links Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage, sliced

8 oz. Cremini Mushrooms, sliced

1 Bulb Fennel, trimmed and sliced

1 15 oz. can Diced Tomatoes (with liquid)

1 C Dry Red Wine

2 ½ C Beef Broth

2 ½ C Mushroom Broth

8 oz uncooked Farro or Spelt, rinsed and soaked for several hours

1 bunch Kale, stems removed and leaves torn or roughly chopped

3 T chopped Thyme

3 T chopped Fresh Parsley

S+P to taste

Grated Fresh Parmesan Cheese for serving

Directions: In a soup pot, heat EVOO over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and minced garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add sausage. When it starts to brown, add mushrooms and fennel. After mushrooms have released most of their liquid, add tomatoes, wine, broths and farro. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add kale and simmer until farro is somewhat tender (it should still have a bit of chew when bitten into.) Add Thyme, S+P to taste and simmer 5 more minutes.

Serve soup hot with grated parmesan over the top.

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