It’s warm and comforting recipe season again! And today I have a cozy Italian sausage soup with chickpeas and broccolini. It’s thick, creamy, hearty and will warm you down to your toes.
I hope your week has been going well.
The weather has turned cold here recently. Brrrr! We’ve been resisting, but we finally had to turn on the heat. Something about not being able to feel our toes. So I guess it was time. 🙂
On the plus side, this is perfect weather for my favorite sorts of cozy comfort food. Soups, braises, breads, and all sorts of baked goods that need me to turn on the oven. Should I mention that I have the best no-knead rolls coming up soon? Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and any time you want yummy dinner rolls. They’re amazing!
And today I have a cozy soup which is equally amazing! Since I only post recipes I LOVE, trust me that I love this soup in all its creamy, rich glory. The pureed veggies that make the base, the meaty Italian sausage, the hearty chickpeas, and the bright and fresh broccolini. It’s all good!
What do you need?
- Soup Base – Onions, carrots, and garlic along with chicken stock.
- Sausage – I like a sweet Italian variety here.
- Chickpeas – A couple of cans or you can cook up your own if you want!
- Broccolini (or Broccoli) – Broccolini is the perfect thickness, so cut the florets in halves and quarters if you use broccoli.
- Spices and Flavorings – Oregano, thyme, and bourbon
- Heavy Cream – Just a little to make the recipe extra cozy.
How to make this
To make Italian sausage soup, puree softened vegetables with stock for a thick base then simmer the thickened stock with sausage, chickpeas, and broccolini until the flavors come together. Finish by swirling in some cream.
- Saute the onion, garlic, and carrots until soft then puree them with chicken stock.
- Brown the sausage.
- Stir in the chickpeas and herbs, then pour in the thickened stock and bring to a simmer.
- Add the broccolini and cook through.
- Swirl in some cream to finish it off.
1. Make the Puree
The secret to this soup is the puree. This is something I did for my pasta e fagioli recipe and it makes all the difference! By sauteing, softening, and then pureeing the vegetables into the stock you get a thick and rich base which makes every spoonful better.
And it’s easy enough to do. Heat up some oil, add your chopped vegetables, and let them saute/sweat at a low heat so you don’t get much browning until they’re all soft. Then transfer them to a blender with the stock and puree until smooth.
Once that is done, break up the sausage and brown that up over medium heat until you don’t see anymore pink. It’s doesn’t have to be all cooked through, but you want it browned for the flavor.
Tip: For a spicy soup, use half or all spicy Italian sausage instead of the sweet.
Next, add your beans and the herbs. Then pour the stock in and let it all simmer until the flavors come together.
4. Finish Up
Add the broccolini and cook until crisp-tender. (Can you use broccoli instead? Of course! Just cut it so the pieces are fairly thin so they cook through quick. You can also use broccoli rabe if you want the bitterness of the rabe to balance the creaminess.)
Finish things off by swirling in some cream and adding salt and pepper as needed.
Once I have the soup all warm and happy in my bowl, I like to grind a little more black pepper over the top since the spice of the pepper really balances the flavors. And then I like to dip some bread into the bowl, because YUM. 🙂
Breads to Try
Any of my no-knead breads would be awesome here: my olive oil and rosemary no-knead bread, my garlic and thyme skillet focaccia, or my sage and olive skillet focaccia. Just break off a piece, dip it into the soup, and enjoy.
And then, once you’ve finished up this recipe, maybe you want to try another soup?
If you try my recipe for Chickpea and Italian Sausage Soup, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Creamy Italian Sausage and Chickpea Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 5 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 cups low or no sodium chicken stock
- 10-12 oz sweet Italian sausage, or a mix of sweet and hot
- 1/4 cup bourbon, or brandy
- 2 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp dried oregano, or 2 tsp fresh
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme, or 1 tsp fresh
- 1 bunch broccolini, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onion, carrots, garlic, and salt. Cook over low heat until the the vegetables are very soft, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer the vegetables to a blender with the chicken stock. Blend until fully pureed.
- Heat up the pot to medium. Add the Italian sausage, breaking it up into small pieces. Saute until the sausage is browned and has lost its pink color.
- Add the bourbon and deglaze.
- Stir in the chickpeas, oregano, and thyme. Then pour in the pureed stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and keep at simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the broccolini and cook until crisp/tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the cream.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
- Broccolini: You can substitute broccoli or broccoli rabe for the broccolini. Cut into bite-sized pieces and add when the recipe calls for the broccolini.
- Pureeing the vegetables: This makes the stock very thick and rich and is a great way to thicken the soup without using flour.