Smoking, growing your own vegetables, making your own sausage and bacon are all great activities on their own. However, they bring up the level on all the food in your home.
As it is cooling down, I made Sausage Soup with a lot of ingredients that I have grown or made.
The ingredients are:
2 fresh sausages (the recipe is meant for mild Italian sausage but I used some fresh garlic sausage I made, you can use any fresh sausage.)
1 tablespoon oil
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1/2 cup diced back (Canadian) bacon or smoked ham. I used the end cuttings off my maple back (Canadian) bacon.
2 cups diced tomatoes (I used some tomatoes from my garden that I had frozen, you could also used canned diced tomatoes).
5 cups chicken stock (I used homemade chicken stock made from carcasses of chickens I had smoked)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/2 cup chopped chili pepper (I used a medium hot chili I grew in my garden. You can adjust this based on how hot your peppers are.)
1/2 cup orzo or other small pasta
1 cup chopped vegetables (I used green beans from my garden).
I cooked the sausage until it was firm. You can fry, microwave or steam. It doesn't matter as long as the sausage stays together. I like larger dice to get some chew in my soup. Dice it up as you like it.
I put the oil in a large pot and heated it over medium heat. I added the onion and cooked it until it was just beginning to soften.
Add the back (Canadian) bacon or ham and cook for 1 to two minutes. There should just be the beginnings of browning in the bottom of the pot.
Through in the diced sausage and stir until a nice layer of brown bits are in the bottom of the pan, 2-3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and the chicken stock. Bring it to a boil and turn down to a simmer.
Fine chop the chili pepper and add it to the soup.
Add the basil, rosemary and sage.
Simmer the soup for 30 minutes. Add the orzo and green beans.
Simmer for 30 minutes and serve!
This turned out great. The sausage makes it a rich soup for a cold day. The bacon trimmings give it a smoky flavour. The home grown vegetables give a nice bright flavour. This is soooo good. It almost makes a cold day worthwhile. It just wouldn't have been as good without all the home made/grown ingredients.