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I’m not big on most convenience foods, but I am a fan of sausages. I always keep a package or two in the freezer. They are quick to cook and combined with a few other ingredients they can take the leading role in soup, stew, casseroles or pasta dishes. I’ve paired them with everything from pears to rapini to make meals on the fly.
During the Fancy Food Show last month I got a chance to try Mulay’s Sausage at Food Fete. I was impressed by their products and especially founder Loree Mulay’s dedication to using high quality ingredients. Her Italian sausages were juicy but not greasy. “No one should see how laws or sausages are made” goes the Otto von Bismarck quote, but I’m not so sure about that. Loree spoke passionately about the sourcing of meat that goes into her sausages made according to her family’s recipes. She uses meat from animals never treated with anitbiotics. She doesn’t use nitrates, MSG, soy, dairy, sugar, artifical flavors or colors and her products are gluten-free. These are sausages I would not fear seeing made. 
After receiving some sausages I was even more impressed, because cooking them up there wasn’t a huge pool of fat in the pan. I used Mulay’s Killer hot Italian sausages in a variation on a recipe from a favorite cookbook of mine, Elegant Meals with Inexpensive Meats.  My version has less liquid so the result is a richly spicy and flavorful soup that is almost the texture of chili. Note: If you use another brand of Italian sausages you may need to drain the grease after browning the meat. 
Spicy Italian Sausage & Kidney Bean Soup 
Serves 4
Ingredients

1 12 ounce package Killer hot Italian sausage

1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup diced mixed mini peppers (red, yellow and orange)
1 clove garlic, pressed
28 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can kidney beans, drained
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/3 cup red wine
Instructions

Remove the sausage from casings and crumble into a 4 quart pot. Cook until the sausage is no longer pink. Add the onions and peppers and continue to cook until the onion is completely translucent and begins to melt. Add the garlic and stir. Add the tomatoes, beans, water and fennel seeds. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the cover, add the red wine and simmer uncovered for 3 minutes. Serve with or without grated Parmigiano Reggiano. 

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Mulay’s Sausage provided me with samples of their products to use in recipes, I was not compensated monetarily for this or any other post. 

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