Peasant-Style Chicken and Sausage Soup

This soup makes a hearty one-pot meal from simple, everyday ingredients. It takes just a short time to prepare and a minimal amount of effort - a great choice for dinner when you don't feel like fussing. Because it has all the components of a balanced meal, it's not essential that you serve anything else with it, but a salad on the side is a nice addition.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 lb Italian sausage (hot or sweet)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach, washed
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Trim excess fat from the chicken thighs and cut them into bite-sized chunks. Cut the sausage into bite-sized pieces as well and set both meats aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the chicken to the pan and combine with the onions. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring continually, until the chicken develops a little golden color. Add the sausage pieces, mix well and continue cooking for another minute or two.

Add the chicken broth to the pan and stir in the tomato sauce and oregano. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is cooked through.

Stir in the elbow macaroni and fresh mushrooms. Cover again and cook until the macaroni is tender, about 4 to 5 more minutes. Taste and season as desired with salt and pepper.

Remove from the heat and add the fresh spinach, stirring until wilted.

Ladle about 1/2 cup of the soup into the bottom of each of four soup bowls. Top with about a tablespoon of the shredded mozzarella, then fill the bowls as desired with more soup and top each with another tablespoon of cheese.

Makes 4 servings (with leftovers)

Recipe tip:
Use a pair of kitchen shears to cut your sausage into bite-sized pieces. It's quick and the pieces hold their round shape better.