2021 and at the end of last year everyone said “well it can’t get much worse than 2020”. To be honest, it feels a lot worse. At least last year we all had two months of no Covid. This year, boom we went straight into a lockdown. I must admit that I have struggled in the last week or so. Working from home and parenting is much harder this year. I am way busier in work now that I have settled into my new role and Alex now needs more mental stimulation and some sort of education. He has been VERY good, not a bother, but I am struggling with the mom guilt. Poor Alex, all he hears is “I’ll be there in 5 minutes” and all I hear is “when are you finished, is five minutes not up yet”. So on the weekends, I try not to spend too much time doing what normal weekends would comprise of, no laundry, no cleaning and very little cooking. Simple and wholesome meals are what we are mostly eating. Soups, pasta and yes, there are at least one if not two meals of Heinz spaghetti hoops and toast per week. Anyone else in the same boat?
This recipe is one of our favourites, a quick and easy soup full of flavour that the whole family will love.
To me, soup as a complete meal needs to be comforting, substantial and ideally filled with leftover items from your fridge or pantry, oh and it needs to relatively simple too! This soup meets all of those criteria. It has a rich deep flavour brought together by simple ingredients. A rich Italian tomato base with chunks of sausage and filling cappelletti pasta, it comes together in 25 minutes and is made in one pot so there is very little washing up at the end. This is a great soup and is picky eater friendly too.
My favourite cosy mid week meal to throw together with little effort, filled with tasty bites of sausage, tender cappelletti (smaller bite sized filled pasta) and wilted spinach in an Italian style soup.
I wouldn’t consider this soup to be healthy as it is loaded with sausage and carbs, but I don’t use cream in it which many people tend to do so it is lighter. Instead I use a mix of stock, chopped tomatoes and milk to create a creamy soup base that the pasta cooks within.
WARMING SAUSAGE AND CAPPELLETTI SOUP
This recipe is enough to feed a family of 4, for us that means we have 2 portions leftover. When popped in the fridge to eat at a later time, the pasta will keep absorbing the soup and become softer. It also becomes more of a sausage and pasta dish with a sauce rather than soup. But still tastes darn good!
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- 200 g sausages or sausage meat
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced (or 1/2 a white onion)
- 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 x tin of chopped tomatoes (400 g)
- 3/4 pint of vegetable or chicken
- 1/2 pint of milk
- 1 packet of fresh Cappelletti pasta (tortellini will do fine too). I usually have prosciutto filled or cheese filled in the fridge.
- 50 g chopped spinach (kale also good)
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. If using sausages, squeeze thumb sized portions of the meat out from the casing and drop directly into the oil. When cooking the sausages, break them up with a wooden spoon as they cook. Cook until browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the shallot, garlic and dried oregano and rosemary and gently cook, stirring a couple of times, about 1 minute.
Next add in the flour and stir until you can’t see any flour. Cook for about 30 seconds.
Add in a little bit of hot stock, and stir to cook the flour further. Then add in the rest of the stock, the tinned tomatoes and the milk. Bring to the boil.
Add in the cappelletti. Bring to the boil and then cook on a simmer for about 10 minutes until the pasta is tender.
Take off the heat. If you have a picky eater at home like I do (who won’t eat green or red flecks in his soup), I tend to take a ladle full of sausage and pasta and some soup out now and put in his bowl. I try to keep his portion simple, avoiding as much of the chopped tomato as I can.
Add in the chopped spinach and stir. The heat from the soup will wilt the spinach.
Ladle into a bowl and if you like, top with some cheese.