Vegetable Soup with Chicken Sausage and Orzo

When fall is in the air and winter is approaching I start making large batches of soup to freeze for cold nights when nothing is as warming as a hot bowl of soup.  My soups are complete meals meant to be enjoyed with a luscious fresh salad and crisp baked bread. Nothing smells as good as hot fragrant soup simmering on the stove!

Vegetable Soup with Chicken Sausage and Orzo

Ingredients

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 fennel ribs, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 (32-oz) containers organic vegetable broth

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 cup french string beans, cut into 2 in. pieces

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 (15-oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

5 cooked chicken sausages, cut into bit size pieces*

1 cup orzo

Toasted Baguette**

Preparation

1. Sauté carrots and next 4 ingredients in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in broth, tomatoes, string beans, and freshly ground black pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.

2. Stir in beans, sausage and orzo, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes or until orzo is tender. Top each serving with toasted baguette slice.

*I like to roast my sausages not fry. Roast sausage in over at 400 F for 20 minutes. Cut into bit size pieces.

** Slice baguette into 1 inch slices. Brush with oil and sprinkle with Italian seasonings. Broil for 1-2 minutes until baguette is toasted.

Enjoy!

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