Sunday, January 9, 2011

French Country Chicken and Sausage Soup

This recipe comes from Comfort Foods by Rachael Ray. It has a surprising depth of flavor and serves four. Keep the staples for this in your pantry and freezer and you have a great winter meal for that snow day. Serve with crusty bread and some hearty wine-it will be gone fast!

3/4 lb. bulk sweet sausage
2 tbs olive oil, plus a drizzle to brown meat
3/4 lb diced boneless chicken thigh meat (spectacular flavor)
1 bulb fresh fennel, tops trimmed off and chopped
1 large chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 15 oz can great northern white beans, drained
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 quart (32 oz) chicken broth, 1 box
2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed in palm
2 tbs chopped fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme, crushed in palm
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated parmesan and croutons to top soup

In a deep pot, brown sausage in a touch of olive oil over high heat. Remove sausage and drain on paper towels. Add 2 tbs olive oil to the pot and add the chicken. Brown chicken for 2-3 min and add fennel, onion, garlic and bay leaf. Cover pot and cook vegetables for 5-6 min, stirring occasionally.

Remove cover and add beans, tomatoes, chicken broth, rosemary, thyme, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until ready to serve. For a thinner soup, add up to 2 c of additional broth.

Serve soup topped with grated parmesan and chunks of bread for dipping or float croutons on top of the soup.

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