This Italian sausage soup for the slow cooker is a beautiful combination of Italian sausage, sautéed onions and mushrooms slow simmered in an herbed tomato broth. The crowning touch is potato gnocchi and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
It's easy, delicious, and gluten-free!
Before you slice your sausage links, place them in the freezer for about 20 minutes. This will make the meat easier to slice, and your cuts will be more precise.
Another tip is to cut your links at a 45-degree angle. Slicing on the bias (at an angle) gives you a larger surface to caramelize. In effect, both the presentation and the flavor of your dish will be improved.
1-19 oz package mild Italian sausage links - 5 fresh links
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
8 oz button mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed, and sliced
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
2 cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes (15 oz each)
6 cups chicken stock
1 package potato gnocchi - gluten-free (12 0z)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
1. Prep: Place package of fresh sausage links in the freezer until firm, about 20 minutes.
2. Slice: Slice links at a 45° angle - about 6 pieces per link.
3. Sear: In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering add the sausage and cook until a beautiful brown on the outside and no pink inside.
4. Remove sausage pieces and add to slow cooker.
5. Sauté: Leave 1-2 tablespoons of sausage drippings in the skillet. Add chopped onions and sliced mushrooms; sauté for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Add to slow cooker.
6. Deglaze: Add 1/2 dry sherry to skillet. With wooden spoon, scrape loose the browned bits left in the pan. Let it simmer on medium-high heat for a 2-3 minutes to allow some of the alcohol to evaporate. Add mixture to slow cooker.
7. Add: To slow cooker, add granulated garlic, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, tomato sauce, tomatoes, and chicken stock.
8. Cook: Lid on, set slow cooker on LOW for 6-8 hours.
9. Add: Following directions on package, add gnocchi in last half hour of cooking. Don’t overcook gnocchi; it’s ready when the pieces float on the surface of the soup.
10. Garnish: Ladle into bowls and garnish with grated Parmesan and few sautéed mushrooms, if you like.
"Coin Slicing Italian Sausage." YouTube. September 28, 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj0zu2eY_oo.
"Coin Slicing Sausage." Johnsonville. Accessed March 8, 2018. http://www.johnsonville.com/club/articles/coin-slicing.html.
Elliot, Jeffrey, and James P. DeWan. "Carving Cooked Meats." In Complete Book of Knife Skills, 343-361. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Robert Rose, Inc, 2010.