One of my favorite soups to make on a rainy day is Julia Child’s Soup a la Victorine. However, Julia’s version has a lot of extra steps that I tend to cut down, and my result is a really yummy, easy, and relatively quick soup. Once again, everything I needed was in the house already. Except for the eggplant. But there was frozen Wild Boar sausage from D’Artagnan, one of my favorites! Normally, I use regular Italian sausage, which is just as good, but if there’s wild boar around, I’ll use that instead. Or, for a lighter meal, I skip it all together. I had to run out to Walgreens anyway to pick up my cold medicine, so I went to Whole Foods too. And, I’m glad I did because I found what might be one of the last bags of white chocolate covered, peppermint encrusted, pretzel chips of the season!!
Once again, I digress…. but see how pretty? Anyway, I came home and started on the soup. The great thing about this, is that it makes a big pot, enough for 6 people, and since I’m cooking for only 3, we have leftovers to freeze for a day that I don’t feel like cooking. However, there is NO p-touch in this house. Can you believe it? My mother has yet to discover the wonders of labeling everything in sight. I feel that might change once she reads this. Or maybe I’ll buy one for her. For now, a piece of masking tape with “soup” written on it will have to do for marking the jars that are about to go in the freezer.
½ lb. Italian sausage
2 cups combination of sliced leeks and onions, or onions only, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced or mashed
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon sage
4 jars Borlotti Italian beans, drained and rinsed
3-4 cups chicken stock
A firm, shiny, 1 lb. eggplant (about 8 inches long and about 3 ½ inches at widest diameter
1 can San Marzano tomatoes, chopped
- Brown the sausage in a bit of olive oil in a soup pot. When mostly cooked, remove from pot and slice into rounds. Brown those a bit. Remove them to a plate.
- If there is a lot of fat from your sausage, drain some of it. If there is not a lot, add some oil to the pan. Sprinkle the leeks and onions with salt and cook slowly until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the beans, herbs, and stock to cover. Bring to the simmer, partially cover the pan, and cook slowly for 1/2 hour or until the beans are tender. (Stir frequently). Sometimes, I will use dried cranberry beans and cook the soup in my pressure cooker. Both ways are equally delicious, and it just depends on what I I have on hand.
- Sauté the sausage in a separate pan, slice, and reserve.
- Peel the eggplant and cut into ½ inch dice. Sauté in some olive oil pan till lightly brown.
- Purée the soup in a food mill, and add the sausage, eggplant, and tomatoes and some of their juice to the pan.
- Simmer 10-15 minutes
- Serve with a drizzle of good finishing oil.