It’s officially Soup season. It’s soup season in the best way possible. The warmer weather has let up just enough for it to hit that perfect stride of comfortability. My forehead isn’t glistening from walking from my car to the grocery store, and my toes aren’t so cold they could break off. I love these slow transitions which is why I love Fall so much. My world sort-of slows down a bit. I find myself home, with Daniel, on a Tuesday night, eating Spicy Italian Marsala Cream Soup and warm bread with melting, salty butter. This recipe for Spicy Italian Marsala Cream Soup is possibly the best transition soup out there.
Excuse me while I pat myself on the back, but I’m not going to lie to you. It’s straight forward. It’s the kind of soup you need on a night where you “just can’t even.” Which has basically been me anytime I make this soup. The creaminess and warmth tell me “Good job, Karlee, you pushed through your afternoon exhaustion and got stuff done.”
This is one of those recipes I’ve used for years in some form or another. It was high time to focus and ask myself “How much marsala is in a quick splash and a slow guzzle?” Which, if you haven’t guessed, is how I usually cook. Asking me to write down my savory recipes is like asking me to solve the New York Times crossword. It may take me a few tries and a throw of the pencil against my subway tile, but I’ll eventually get there.
Baking is so much easier. It just makes sense to me. There are clean and clear guidelines and most everything is black and white. There are ratios and measurements that can be clearly communicated. But, how do you say “Add some more or less salt and then test. Then, add some more if needed, but if it’s still missing flavor, your thyme might not be particularly fresh or potent. So, you might want to add a few more thyme sprigs while you’re at it.”
If my cake falls, it is under baked, and I might need to check my oven’s internal temperature. If my bread is flaking apart when I cut into it, I need to add more binding. If my brownies are too hard on the edges, the temperature needs to be lowered. But with cooking it’s not an exact science. It is fluid. It’s “Hey, throw a little of that in there too, and it will still turn out to be soup!” Which I do love, but translating that into a recipe is difficult.
So what I’m saying is, go with your heart on this recipe. If you don’t like kale, use spinach. If you have an aversion to the spicy things, go ahead and withhold those red pepper flakes. If you want it creamier, add some more cream. Don’t have sprigs of rosemary? use fresh basil instead. You do you, friends. You do you. Because It’s Fall and we are all about loosening things up a bit. So, loosen that belt a notch or two, and get wrapped up in roasted veggies, buttery sage chicken, and finish the night off with a creamy chai latte.
Spicy Italian Marsala Cream SoupPrint Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup carrots, julienned
- 1 cup kale, chopped
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1/4 cup flour
- 32 ounces chicken stock
- 1/3 cup marsala cooking wine
- 1 1/2 cups cream
- Top with heirloom tomatoes and fresh shredded parmesan.
Add olive oil and butter to a large soup pot. Add chopped small onion, salt and pepper. Cook until onions become transparent and add the carrots, kale, zucchini, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, and rosemary. Cook together for another 5 minutes then remove from the pot. Add the Italian sausage, break up, and cook for another 5 minutes or until completely cooked through. Add the veggies back into the pot along with the flour. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute before adding the marsala. Add the chicken stock slowly while continuously stirring. Add the cream and bring to a slow boil.
Serve with fresh shredded Parmesan and cherry tomatoes.