A few years ago my son went Christmas shopping at the Mall with his grandmother. While there they had lunch at a restaurant and he had a sausage and vegetable soup. He came home raving about how good it was. He couldn't remember any details of what was in the soup, so I did an internet search and found this recipe and made it. He loved it. I make it frequently.
Since fresh basil is hard to find in New England in the winter, I add some basil pesto, which I make in the summer and freeze in ice cube trays.
Sausage and Vegetable Soup
1/2 lb sausage
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 lb mushrooms, chopped
4 cups canned chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup arborio rice
1 12 oz can plum tomatoes
2 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp basil, chopped
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Gently squeeze the sausage meat out of its casing, shaping the meat into small balls as you go. In a large pot, heat the oil over high heat; lightly brown sausage balls in 2 or 3 batches. With a slotted spoon, remove the sausage to a plate.
2. Over medium-high heat, sweat the onions until translucent, about 3 - 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Next, add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. Add the broth, wine, rice, tomatoes and sausage. Simmer until the rice is tender, about 15 - 20 minutes.
3. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, stir in the zucchini. If the soup is too thick, add some extra chicken broth. At about the same time the rice is tender, the zucchini should be soft and bright green. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Before serving, top with basil and grated Parmesan cheese.