Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Chicken & Sausage Summer Vegetable Soup

This soup is incredibly comforting and full of summer flavors, zucchini, corn, tomatoes and lots of fresh herbs combine to make you feel refreshed and satisfied. I know soup is not traditional during summer but as the days get shorter and the nights get cooler there is no reason you can't have a good soup, and you don't have to eat it piping hot. Its just as delicious room temperature. Zucchini, tomatoes and corn are still plentiful during September so feel free to wait a bit, to heat up your kitchen. I personally think this soup is so good that I ask: what's a little bit of perspiration?

I like to save all of my corn cobs, they contain a great "milk" that is sweet and wonderful and it flavors any stock beautifully. You can use them here or I like to save them up in a freezer bag all summer long and when fall and winter hit I use them to create corn chowders or other creamy soups....mmmmm! I top this soup with a sprinkling of sharp cheddar cheese and serve it alongside a nice bakery bread with butter. Its a perfect, completely balanced meal! I recently had a reader ask me for a zucchini recipe that is gluten free, so if you are avoiding gluten, skip the bread and this meal is perfect for you!*

This recipe serves 6-8.


1/2lb. sweet, pasture raised, Italian sausage, I get mine bulk without casing. If you get links just remove the casing and crumble.

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 pasture raised, bone-in, skin on, chicken thighs

2 Pints organic cherry tomatoes

1 Cup organic celery, chopped.

2 Medium, organic zucchinis, chopped.

2 Medium organic onions, chopped.

4 Cloves, organic garlic, chopped.

4 Ears corn, non-GMO, kernels cut from the cobs, cobs reserved.

1 Quart chicken broth, mine is organic and low-sodium.

1 Organic, fresh bay leaf

1 Bunch organic herbs, tied with kitchen twine, mine included: 1 sprig thyme, 1 sprig oregano and 1 sprig rosemary.

Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste.

1 Tbsp fair trade, organic, raw cane sugar

2 Cups sharp cheddar cheese, to garnish, optional.


In a large stock pot pour the chicken broth and add in the corn cobs, heat over high heat and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer while you do the next steps.

Brown sausage with olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat till browned and cripsy, about 7 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and sear, skin side down, and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Remove from the pan and place in the stock pot with the corn cobs.  Allow the stock to simmer, poaching the chicken about 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes to the dutch oven, that had the chicken and sausage, add more olive oil of necessary, cook till they are soft and easily burst and break apart, about 10 minutes. Add in all the remaining vegetables, garlic and herbs. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium high heat till the vegetables have some color, about 6 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking, remove the chicken and corn cobs from the chicken stock, discard the cobs. Remove the skin from the chicken and shred with two forks, discarding the bones.

Pour the stock into the vegetables along with the herbs and bay leaf. Scrape the bottom of the pot to get up the brown, stuck on bits. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and cook simmering for 20-25 minutes. Add in the sausage and chicken and cook for another 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and taste for seasoning, add in the sugar, salt and pepper if needed. Some tomatoes are sweeter than others so you may not need sugar.

Serve with a sprinkle of sharp cheddar cheese and enjoy!

*I am not an expert on gluten free food, I don't eat gluten free but I like to accommodate all eaters. I believe this recipe is gluten free but please check with an expert before making.

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