This colorful, veggie-heavy Italian Sausage Minestrone is packed with vitamins, fiber, gut-nourishing collagen, and protein.
Tomato, Sausage, and Fennel Soup
Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, Paleo, Low-Carb, Keto, Includes Vegan option
This aromatic and hearty recipe is an oldie-but-goodie, originally inspired by “Tomato Soup with Two Fennels,” from Molly Wizenberg’s foodoir, A Homemade Life. After so many incarnations and additions, I think I can safely claim this version as my own. Still, I think of Orangette’s wonderful, well-tested recipes every time I make it.
Fennel, with its crisp licorice perfume, is like a flavor cousin to basil (another tomato lover). It’s also a key ingredient in my Sweet Italian Sausage, which is featured in this tasty pot. In essence, there is a hat-trick of fennel in this recipe: from the tender bits of fresh fennel bulb to the infusion of ground fennel seed, and finally, the fennel-laced Italian sausage.
Here’s some info about the thyroid-friendly nutrients in this dish:
- Fennel is a very good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, the latter of which can alleviate constipation. It is used medicinally as a digestive aid for issues such as heartburn, gas, and bloating.
- Tomatoes are a good source of key thyroid nutrients like vitamin A, Iron, and fiber. They are a very good source of vitamin C. A study recently shared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism stated, “In patients with hypothyroidism and gastrointestinal pathology, vitamin C improves the abnormalities in serum free T4, T3, and TSH concentrations.”
- A 3-ounce serving of pork contains 103% DV for tyrosine, 63% DV for selenium, and 17% DV for Zinc– 3 key nutrients for thyroid health.
- Bone broth is one of the most highly recommended foods for anyone suffering from an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s. The collagen and glycine can help repair cell damage in the intestinal tract.
- 1 cup of carrots provides 428% DV of Vitamin A.
Tomato, Sausage, and Fennel Soup
This aromatic and hearty recipe features a hat-trick of fennel: from the tender bits of fresh fennel bulb to the infusion of ground fennel seed, and finally, the fennel-laced Italian sausage. Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, Paleo, Low-Carb, Keto, Includes Vegan option.
- 1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion (or large shallot), diced small
- 1 medium fennel bulb, diced small
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large (or 2 medium) carrots, peeled and diced small
- 3-4 stalks celery, diced small
- 1 1/4 tsp ground fennel seed
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 4 cups chicken stock , preferably homemade
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place Italian sausage in a large (5-quart) soup pot over medium-high heat. Cook until browned and most liquid has evaporated. Remove from pot, drain and discard drippings, and set aside.
Add olive oil to pot over medium heat. Add fennel, garlic, onion, carrots, and celery, and cook 10 - 15 minutes or until carrots are tender. Feel free to add a splash of chicken stock to speed the process along by creating steam and/or preventing browning.
Add ground fennel and fresh thyme and stir to combine. Pour in chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, place tomatoes in a blender and process to your desired consistency (I do a "crushed" style). Add to soup pot along with cooked sausage. Season with salt and pepper and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until flavors have melded. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
1 - Optional garnishes: Wispy fennel fronds, chopped fresh parsley, basil ribbons, or fresh thyme leaves.
2 - Vegan version: Omit sausage. Replace chicken stock with vegetable broth. Add one 15-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, during last 5 minutes of cooking.
3 - Hearty winter version (non-Paleo): Add one 15-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, during last 5 minutes of cooking.