October 19, 2013 by Suzanne
I had some Italian sausage that I needed to use, and I thought I’d use it to invent a new kind of soup. The sausage and flavors were inspired by Italian cuisine, and since it isn’t based on any kind of soup that already has a name, I decided to call it Zuppa Inventato da Qualche Americana, which translates to “soup invented by some American.”
My idea started with the flavors in Italian wedding soup, named for the marriage of the different flavors, and my desire to try a creamy tomato soup. It turned out so well that I’m eating it at the computer while writing down the recipe before I forget how I did it.
2 medium heads of cauliflower
2 cans petite diced tomatoes
2 qts water, about
2 T. Chicken Better Than Bouillon
1 tsp. Beef Better Than Bouillon
1 lb Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 T. minced garlic
6 large mushrooms, sliced
3/4 tsp. fennel
3/4 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/8 tsp. oregano
5-6 oz. spinach (half a bag, or so)
1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 C. heavy cream
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
Break up the cauliflower into florets and put them in a large pot. Add the canned tomatoes, and then add just enough water to cover the cauliflower. Add the chicken and beef bouillon, and then bring the pot to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very tender.
While the cauliflower is cooking, brown the italian sausage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in a large pan until the sausage is cooked completely and the onion becomes translucent. For the last minute of cooking, and the mushrooms to get them started cooking.
When the cauliflower is soft, remove 2-3 cups of cauliflower and tomatoes with a slotted spoon from the pot and set aside. With a stick blender, puree the rest of the cauliflower and tomatoes in the pot with the broth.
Add the cooked sausage and veggies to the pureed cauliflower/tomato broth. Add the fennel, basil, white pepper, and oregano and cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes to finish cooking the mushrooms and to allow the flavors to mix together.
Add the spinach and cook for another minute or two. By this point, the cauliflower that you set aside earlier should have cooled enough to cut into small pieces. I just ran a knife through the bowl a few times. Add the pieces back into the soup.
Turn off the heat and add the Parmesan cheese and heavy cream. Stir until everything is well combined and the cheese has melted.
Sift in the xanthan gum, a little bit at a time, mixing very well before adding more. This is to keep the cheese from separating when the soup cools and not to thicken, so don’t add too much. Just a little bit is all it takes. If you overthicken it, add some more cream or chicken broth to thin it back down.
Serve hot and enjoy.