Sunday, November 23, 2008

Italian Sausage and Spinach Soup

I've got a great recipe for you today that is just perfect for the cold weather we've been enjoying. It's a hot savory soup, thick with sausage, tomatoes, chickpeas and bold flavors, and surprisingly low in calories and fat. It's also inexpensive to make and freezes very well.

Actually, the inspiration for this recipe was a result of my first visit with Lenny Turi, the owner and one of the personal trainers of Fitness Together Waxhaw. I decided that I really needed to get serious about taking control of my health, so I'm getting a jump on my 2009 New Year's resolutions by starting now with an exercise and nutrition evaluation at FTWaxhaw. Wednesday was my first session with Lenny, and I can't wait for the second. I already feel healthier!

Here's the recipe I promised, and stay tuned because The Hungry Fox Personal Chef Service is going to be collaborating with Fitness Together Waxhaw to bring you great values in exercise, nutrition, and motivation to help YOU reach your goals in 2009!

Italian Sausage and Spinach Soup

1 large onion, chopped
2 sprays olive oil cooking spray
1 1/2 teaspoons dry sage leaves, crumbled
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
16 ounces Italian Sausage made with chicken, removed from casing if in links
2 1/2 quarts (2 1/2 32-oz.boxes) low sodium chicken broth or stock
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
6 ounces low-sodium tomato sauce
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
9 ounces fresh spinach, roughly chopped
6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Spray olive oil cooking spray in a heavy nonstick frying pan and heat over medium heat, then add chopped onion and saute quickly until onion is soft. Add the minced garlic and crumbled sage, and saute one minute more. Scrape onion-herb mixture into large stock pot or Dutch oven. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

Spray the same frying pan with cooking oil spray and heat over medium heat. Add sausage and brown, stirring to break apart. Add sausage to soup pot along with canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and ground black pepper. Bring to a simmer and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.

Stir in spinach and garbanzo beans; simmer for 10 minutes longer until everything is hot. Serve in individual bowls and garnish with a dusting of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 6.

Nutritional Detail Per Serving (Approx.): 364 calories, 5 gr. fat (12%) 38 gr. carbs, 6 gr. dietary fiber, 45 gr. protein. 100% DELICIOUS!

Bon App├ętit!
Chef Debbie

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