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Brussels sprouts are a favorite of ours, but I had never considered them for soup.  We usually roast them with some honey, olive oil, salt & pepper; maybe it’s because we like them roasted so much that I never thought about other  preparations.  When I saw this recipe (well, a similar recipe) it blew my mind a little to think about the round little guys in a soup.  I am all for experimentation, so I did, and now we have two favorite Brussels sprouts recipes.

You can see from the picture that this soup has sausage in it: for almost every other soup I make I would say leave it out and use veggie stock for a nice vegetarian version, but this recipe really benefits from both the texture and spices of the sausage.  (That’s not to say it wouldn’t work, but I would be less likely to give it a try, and usually I am a “let’s make it vegetarian!” enthusiast.)  The recipe I was inspired by had very German flavors, but I didn’t have caraway seeds or the particular sausage they used, so mine is a more international version.  We ate steaming-hot bowls with bread and roasted garlic and it was delicious; the potatoes and Brussels sprouts were tender but not mushy, there’s a little spice from the sausage and some sweetness from the parsnips.  I’m looking at the snow forecasted for the next 36 hours and considering making another pot.

Brussels Sprouts Soup

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 links of hot Italian or andouille sausage, or chorizo (I used andouille)
  • 2 medium red potatoes
  • 2 medium parsnips
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts

Trim off the ends of the Brussels sprouts and remove any tough or damaged outer leaves.  Cut them in half, or quarters if they are very large.  Peel the potatoes only if absolutely necessary; cut into 1″ pieces.  Peel the parsnips and cut into 1″ pieces.  Set the vegetables aside.

In a medium stockpot or pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add sausages.  Cover and cook for 6-8 mins., turning once, until browned; it is not necessary to cook them all the way through, so don’t worry if they don’t.  Remove from the pan, slice into pennies and set aside.

Add potatoes, parsnips, fennel seeds and bay leaves to the pan and cook for 2 mins., stirring frequently.  Add garlic to the pan and stir to mix it in evenly with the vegetables, then add the chicken broth.  Put the sliced sausage back into the pan and add Brussels sprouts.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low; cover, leaving a small vent on one side, and cook for 15-20 mins. until vegetables are tender.  Remove bay leaves and serve.

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