I recently decided to give Rachael Ray's new show Rachael Ray's Week in a Day a try. And I confess, I love it! I do like to spend an afternoon cooking and end up with a bunch of stuff I can pick on during the week. But for me it's more about lunches and breakfasts than having dinner prepared in advance. Regardless, I was excited about a bunch of recipes she features.
I have made "stoup" before and love the concept. It's Rachael Ray's cute way of naming a chunky soup - like a cross between a soup and a stew. And I loving making things like this on the weekend, when the house can smell all good while it's cooking, and then taking it for lunch. In addition, this uses broccoli raab which is something I've been trying to eat more of (dark green leafy veggies).
All the flavors come together great in this dish. And in fact, it's a bit spicy! If you are sensitive to heat you may want to cut down on the chili pepper. But for me, it made it even better.
Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Stoup
1 large bundle broccoli rabe, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds bulk Italian sweet or hot sausage
1 onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or very thinly sliced
1 red chile pepper, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon lemon zest
A few grates nutmeg
6 cups chicken stock-in-a-box
2 cups water
About 3/4 cup orecchietti pasta
Grated pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano, for topping
Crusty bread, such as ciabatta
In a medium pot, bring a few inches of water to a boil over medium heat, then salt the water. Trim the broccoli rabe and cut it into 1 1/2 to 2-inch lengths. Simmer in boiling water to reduce the bitterness, about 4 to 5 minutes, then cold shock in ice water and drain very well.
Heat a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat with extra-virgin olive oil, a turn of the pan. Add the sausage and brown and crumble, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the onions, garlic and chile and cook a few minutes more. Add the thyme and lemon zest, then add broccoli rabe and season with a little nutmeg. Stir in the stock and the water and bring to a boil. Simmer a few minutes to combine the flavors. Turn off the heat, cool and store for a make-ahead meal. Reheat the stoup over low heat and bring to a low boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente, about 10 minutes. Ladle the stoup in shallow bowls and garnish with cheese. Serve with crusty bread for mopping.
Note: For a milder version, use only 3 tablespoons of chili powder and ½ teaspoon cayenne.
See more hearty recipes for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays hosted weekly by Kahakai Kitchen.