Now, doesn't this just look like a big, warming bowl of wonderful? It's sausage and broccoli soup (what Rachael Ray calls "stoup" as it's somewhere between stew and soup). My memory of this soup is making it after being completely drenched by the typically chilly Northern Irish rain and my dear friend Andrea and I wolfing it down with big hunks of bread, only stopping eating to murmur "It's soooo good!" every few minutes. This is not your ordinary out-of-a-can soup. In fact, it's so special I wanted to make it for my sister and brother-in-law when I was visiting them last week as a little celebration of their 7th wedding anniversary. So, whether you're feeling chilly (which in Texas, I'm not really) or wanting to celebrate an anniversary or an ordinary Friday, I highly recommend this big pot of love. This makes a really substantial amount of soup (because I wanted Ash and Clay to have plenty of leftovers).
You'll need some of those divine San Marzano tomatoes. They do cost about a dollar more than ordinary tomatoes, but as they're a huge part of this soup and have a delightful sweet flavor (instead of the sometimes overly-acidic flavor of other canned tomatoes), it's worth it. You'll need a 28 ounce can, and don't worry if you can only find whole tomatoes instead of crushed. They usually only come whole, but are easy to break up with a wooden spoon in the soup.
Now, we need to get a bit more liquid in that delicious pot. Add in one container or chicken stock (about 4 cups). I use boxed stock because making my own stock just seems like a lot of trouble.
Ina Garten style. Ciabatta bread is best for this.