Mezzaluna Kielbasa Soup

Cook’s Notes: “Mezzaluna” in Italian means “half moon,” and it also describes the shape of the kielbasa and zucchini slices in this hearty soup loaded with vegetables and cheese. This is lovely soup for a cold winter’s day. Serve with corn muffins or rustic bread. You could also add a tossed green salad to the menu. Makes about 3 quarts of soup (at least 8 generous servings). Leftovers reheat well in the microwave and can be frozen.

Methodology overview: To make this soup, have a soup pot on the back burner and a skillet on the front burner. Sauté onion, vegetables, and meat in the skillet. Add these cooked items to the soup pot. I used a 6-quart soup pot and had plenty of room for the soup.

3.5 c chicken broth
1 oz dried mixed “wild” mushrooms, including porcini and portabella
14 oz pkg turkey kielbasa sausage, sliced thinly into rounds.
3 small green zucchini, sliced thinly into rounds
1 c diced onion
14.5 oz can diced tomato with sweet onion
15 oz can white (Great Northern) beans, drained
15.25 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
Ground black pepper to taste
Shredded mozzarella cheese, at least two large handfuls

Gently heat the chicken broth in a soup pot over low heat while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them steep for 10 to 15 minutes to soften. When they are soft, cut them into smaller pieces as needed. Add the mushrooms and their soaking water to the soup pot.

While the mushrooms soak, prepare the sausage. Cut the kielbasa rounds into half-circles. Lightly coat a skillet with cooking spray. Brown the kielbasa slices over medium heat. Add them to the soup pot.

Cut the zucchini rounds into half-circles. Sauté the onions for a few minutes until tender. Add the zucchini pieces and sauté until translucent. (You’re now done with the skillet.) Place cooked vegetables in the soup pot.

Move the soup pot to the front burner. Turn the heat up to medium-low under the soup.

Add diced tomatoes with their juice (undrained) to the soup pot. Once the mixture is simmering, add the drained beans and corn.

Simmer soup over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Stir in copious amounts of shredded mozzarella cheese. Cook another 10 to 15 minutes to thicken. Season with ground black pepper to taste.

Recipe Source: Based on several sources, including the formula for supper soups by Pamela Anderson in How to Cook Without a Book