We’ve been having crazy weather here in the Bay Area lately – so much rain that there are flash flood warnings everywhere to extreme cold where I have to scrape the ice off my car windshield in the morning. Needless to say, we’re not really used to experiencing the seasons here in Northern California, but puddle jumping has been fun! To help fight the cold I’ve been making soup every week and this weeks was the biggest hit so far – even the little one loved it. The hubby has already requested another batch of this soup and he’s not really a soup person. It’s super hearty with the sausage and quinoa and packs a little heat with the red pepper flakes. I’ve been trying to stay away from bread, but this soup would be great with a slice of buttered crusty bread.

The great thing about soup is that you can make a pot of soup in an hour and have enough soup to last you all week. We always enjoy a bowl for dinner when I first make it, then I eat it for lunch throughout the week. Leftovers are important for me no matter what I make. As a SAHM I don’t usually have a lot of time to put together lunch so heating up a bowl of soup is the perfect meal for me and holds me over until dinner. It’s filling enough to be a complete meal without be too heavy that you don’t want to move the rest of the day.

What I really like about this soup is that the vegetables can be switched up depending on what you have on hand or for personal preference. I don’t like celery in soup, but you could easily add it in or swap out any of the other veggies with one of your faves. I also prefer to cook what’s in season so if zucchini isn’t available when you make this then add summer squash or whatever you can get your hands on.

Sausage & Vegetable Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage, casing removed
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
3 zucchinis, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 can (28 ounce) diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
Red pepper flakes
2 cups kale, ribs removed and chopped
Parmesan cheese

Over medium heat, warm up the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot. When oil is heated, add the sausage to the pot and cook until slightly browned and cooked through. Add the onion, carrot, and zucchini to the pot with a pinch of salt. Cook about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and thyme and about 1 minute or until fragrant. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add in quinoa, broth, water, and a sprinkle red pepper flakes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat to bring to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce heat to a simmer. After cooking for 25 minutes, remove the lid and add the kale. Continue cooking for 5 more minutes or until the kale has softened. Remove soup from heat and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Top with Parmesan cheese once soup is in the bowl.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Recipe adapted from Cookie + Kate

Hope you enjoy this soup as much as we have! I’ve added links to some of my other favorite soups to make. Remember – soup doesn’t have to be contained to just the cold, wintery months. There are so many amazing summer soups that help you beat the heat and save you the hassle of turning on too many kitchen appliances when temperatures get too high.

5 Ingredient Cheesy Cauliflower Soup with Kale Pesto

White Corn Soup

Broccoli and Cheddar Bake

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Garlicky Leek and Artichoke Soup

Summer Squash Soup

Creamy Tomato Soup with Baked Mozzarella Balls

Easy Zuppa Toscana Soup

Classic Gazpacho Soup