Culinary sage refers to a small group of the genus Salvia. These are evergreen perennial sub-shrubs with grayish, purple, or yellow, green and white variegated leaves that add an earthy freshness to foods. Common Salvia officinalis is an excellent seasoning in many food preparations and is favored in Italian cuisine. All of the varieties of sage all can be used interchangeably in recipes. Fresh sage makes a pleasing tea and aids in digestion.
This hearty soup is packed with a variety of vegetables. The addition of fresh sage, parsley and garlic make a bold statement and add unity to the complex flavors. Consider serving the soup as a main dish.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup minced white onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 medium size carrot chopped
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 cup chopped Savoy or green cabbage
- 1 tablespoon Fuller’s Sage Blend
- 1 cans (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained
- ½ cup small shell, elbow or favorite pasta
- 1 cup cooked ham cut into 1 inch chunks (optional)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped kale or Swiss chard
- 1 cup green beans- cut into 1 inch pieces
- ½ cup chopped zucchini
- ¼ cup minced parsley
- ½ cup chopped fresh sage leaf (remove thick stems and veins)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Measure olive oil into a large stock pot and heat on medium. Sauté the onion and celery in the oil for about 5 minutes or until the onions become translucent.
- Add the vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, and carrots to the pot and bring to a boil; add the cabbage and kidney beans. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the pasta, Fuller’s Sage Blend, and chopped ham (if desired) and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
- Stir in the Swiss chard, green beans, zucchini, parsley, chopped fresh sage, minced garlic, salt and black pepper in the pot. Cook for 5-7 minutes more. Test pasta to make sure it is tender, but not mushy.
Serve with crusty French bread and top individual bowls of soup with grated Parmesan cheese or your favorite aged cheese. Serves 6.