...but I still love this soup! And I am sure even though its our tradition to eat this on Christmas Day, its probably just as good any other time of the year. My grandma makes this every year for Christmas....or at least every year she comes to visit us. Our family does the fancy dinner on Christmas Eve, and then on Christmas Day we eat leftovers, this soup, and junk we got in our stockings. It might sound like a weird tradition, but it's my tradition! So....onto the recipe!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 quarts water
1 veal bone (or beef soup bone)
15 oz can kidney beans
8-10 mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 lb mild italian link sausage, sliced
1/4 lb pasta (any kind you like, she usually uses rotini or fucilli)
parmesan cheese for topping
2 c chopped escarole
In large soup pot, heat oil and saute onion until transparent. Add water, veal bone, kidney beans, mushrooms, garlic, bay leaf, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and simmer covered for 45 minutes. Add zucchini, escarole, sausage and pasta, continue to simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered. Remove veal bone before serving. Serve with shredded parmesan or romano cheese. Make at least one day in advance.
**Note: Most of these ingredients you probably keep on hand at home, but you will have to search a bit for the veal/beef bone and the escarole. For those who dont know, escarole is a kind of lettuce green. It stands up to cooking better than lettuce, but it's not as tough as collards or kale. Kind of looks like a head of green leaf lettuce, but smaller. here's an article about it if you are interested. If you go to the butcher station at your store, they can tell you where get the veal or beef (soup) bone. They have them usually in a pkg in the meat section, but if not, the butcher should be able to get you some. Beef bones work pretty much as well as veal, but veal is what it calls for--use whatever you like, I couldnt tell the difference last time.