Last week, I made a batch of homemade fennel sausage which I’ve done a billion times before to have on hand for sauces, pizza or breakfast. Rather than follow my own recipe, I winged it. I was positive using too much fennel would be impossible. I love fennel seed and had yet to ever taste anything with too much, until I tasted my sausage. It smelled good so I didn’t hesitate to scarf down a big fork full of fusilli with sausage sauce. My throat actually constricted upon impact. I couldn’t believe it! An hour hour’s worth of work and the ingredients all wasted.
Now Ralph being Ralph, said, “don’t be silly, it’s not that bad” Of course, he wasn’t making eye contact with me as he tried to muffle his gag reflex. “Freeze it and I’ll eat when you’re not home, some night.” I knew a dollar to a do-nut that the sausage meat would sit in the freezer until it had freezer burn so badly a dog wouldn’t eat it. Not that Fynnigan would even get a whiff! So, I did freeze it but only to pacify my frugal husband. Then, a few days later, I needed to make something quick for lunch. I grabbed four of the sausage patties, defrosted them and threw a soup together. I kid you not; it was a “whatever’s in the fridge” kind of soup. I had just picked a couple of small zucchini and a head of broccoli from the garden and I had some good tinned diced plum tomatoes and commercial chicken stock in my cupboard. I made the soup then plans changed and we didn’t need it. Ugghhh… the sausage was becoming omnipresent. I couldn’t get rid of it!
Today, I was alone. I needed to finish the fall menu for Italian by Night so I planted myself in front of my computer. I was starving by the time I finished but I was eating alone and you know what that means – leftovers…
I looked in the fridge and that nasty pot of sausage soup was grinning at me. I could have just poured it over the compost. Believe me, no self respecting bear would go near this soup but I was too lazy to make anything else. While it was reheating, I grabbed some shredded mozzarella to sprinkle on top. Everything tastes better to me with a little stringy mozza!
I sat down with a couple of foodie magazines to keep myself distracted while I ate and took my first spoonful. IT WAS FANTASTIC! Apparently, the tomatoes and chicken stock had diluted the fennel fiasco to perfection. I could’ve licked my bowl there was no one here so I’ll never tell…
So the moral of the story is ‘You can use too much fennel – follow your recipe!
Sausage and Broccoli Soup
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb homemade fennel sausage
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
2 small zucchini, unpeeled and cut in bite sized chunks
1 – 28 ounce tin diced plum tomatoes with puree
3 cups chicken stock
In a heavy bottomed casserole, slowly brown sausage meat over medium heat
Stir constantly so meat doesn’t stick…
When sausage is well browned, add remaining ingredients and simmer until vegetables are tender.
THE LOVE: I didn’t use any additional flavourings relying solely on the sausage’s seasoning. Since my sausage had WAY TOO MUCH fennel, taste your soup and adjust the seasoning to your liking. I added shredded mozzarella to the top of the soup after it was heated and in the serving bowls.
Because I was never going to share this recipe, I’m short on pictures. If you’re going to make the soup, click on the links if you need more visuals.
Thanks for reading.