My strategy for staying in balance during the holiday season can be summed up in one word: soup. I always have a big batch in my refrigerator waiting to be warmed and ladled into deep bowls and eaten with crusty bread for lunch or dinner, or in smaller, mug-sized portions for a quick snack that takes the chill off the afternoon.
I cook some kind of soup almost every week of the year, but during the holidays I make a point of filling my pot with broth or tomato-based varieties that pack in as many vegetables as possible. It’s an ideal counterbalance for the rich, festive fare of the season, and it always winds up being exactly what I am craving in between parties.
This soup is among my favorites. It’s packed with colorful vegetables — carrots, onion, squash, kale, tomatoes — and has tasty bites of chicken sausage in every spoonful. The way its savory and sweet elements play off of each other, plus the bright, piney essence of fresh sage, makes it compellingly, deeply flavorful.
Make a pot of it and relish the belly-warming, comforting boost to your vegetable intake over the holidays.
Fall Vegetable Soup With Chicken Sausage
Storage: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
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- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 12 ounces Italian-style chicken or turkey sausage (if raw, casings removed and crumbled; or if cooked, diced)
- 1 large yellow onion (12 ounces), diced
- 2 medium carrots, scrubbed and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash (1/2-inch cubes)
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- One (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, with their juices
- 2 cups chopped kale leaves
In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Cook the sausage, stirring occasionally, until browned — 3 minutes for the precooked diced sausage and 5 minutes for uncooked sausage crumbles, breaking the crumbles up with the spoon as they cook. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot, and then add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sage, salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Stir in the butternut squash, return the sausage to the pot, along with any accumulated juices, and add the broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the squash is very tender but still retains its shape, about 15 minutes. Stir in the kale and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more, depending on how tender you prefer the kale.
Ladle into bowls and serve hot.
Per serving (1 1/3 cups)
Calories: 288; Total Fat: 11 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 20 mg; Sodium: 539 mg; Carbohydrates: 33 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugar: 10 g; Protein: 18 g
This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.
From cookbook author and registered dietitian nutritionist Ellie Krieger.
Tested by Olga Massov; email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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