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Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Stoup

This full-bodied soup with sausage, broccoli rabe, pasta and cheese is surprisingly easy to make and reheat as a make-ahead meal for later in the week.


  • Salt
  • 1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds broccoli rabe (a large bundle)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil ( EVOO)
  • 1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds bulk Italian sweet or hot sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or very thinly sliced
  • 1 red chili pepper, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • A few grates of nutmeg
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • About 3/4 cup orecchietti pasta
  • Grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, for topping
  • Crusty bread, such as ciabatta


In a medium size pot, bring a few inches of water to a boil over medium heat, then salt the water. Trim the broccoli rabe and cut it into 1 1/2-2-inch lengths. Simmer in boiling water to reduce the bitterness, about 4-5 minutes, then cold shock in ice water and drain very well.

Heat a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat with the EVOO, a turn of the pan. Add the sausage and brown and crumble, 7-8 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and chili pepper and cook for a few minutes more. Add the thyme and lemon zest, then add the broccoli rabe and season with a little nutmeg. Stir in the stock and the water and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes to combine the flavors. Turn off the heat, cool and store for a make-ahead meal.

Reheat the stoup over low heat and bring to a low boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente, about 10 minutes. Ladle the stoup into shallow bowls and garnish with cheese. Serve with crusty bread for mopping.

Rachael Ray