October Soup.

October Soup

October Soup and a hard roll

I will not take credit for this recipe.  This recipe was featured on a noon news program in Salt Lake City, Utah back in about 1994 or 1995.  The noon cooking segment was titled “The  Gabby Gourmet” and what follows is the very best soup that I have ever had, in my life.

As soon as the weather begins to cool off, even slightly, the first thing Joe says is “When are we having October Soup?”  This can happen as early as September in some of the places we get to in our travels.

Joe is not a fan of squash.  Zucchini in particular.  He ABSOLUTELY HATES SQUASH.  So this might give you a clue as to how good this soup is if he begs for it frequently 😀

I don’t care for soups with a tomato base.  Tomato soups give me heartburn that won’t quit and I am miserable for hours.  This soup DOES NOT bother my stomach.

This soup is chock full of big chunks of meat, vegetables, and yummy goodness.  While it is in the final stage of cooking your house will smell like pizza 😀

There are a couple things I want to say first before getting into the recipe and the cooking instructions.


For this soup to be super tasty and have everyone in your family raving about it, even if you serve it to a large group of friends that will be clamoring for the recipe, the meat can not be substituted.  Trust me.  I know what I’m talking about.

The meat HAS to be Italian Sausage.

I’ve tried bratwurst, smoked sausage, hamburger, and other cheap types of meat.  This recipe FAILS badly.


This recipe calls for 1-1/2 cup of a red cooking wine.  You can use table wines instead.  You can also use white table wine or cooking wine.

For those that have an allergic reaction to alcohol – leave it out.  This recipe will not suffer if you do not include the wine.  Increase the beef broth from 3-1/2 cups to 5 cups.


The cost of this recipe is around $12.  The Italian Sausage is the most expensive part of the recipe.  There are approximately 16 cups of this soup in a batch.  One serving is 1-1/2 to 2 cups and the cost is a little more than $1 per serving.

This soup freezes well.  After it cools we put about 4 cups in a FoodSaver bag then put it in the freezer.  The Bow Tie Noodles – you will see that later in this post – don’t freeze well.  They get mushy and kind of grainy so for Joe and I the noodles only go in when I reheat the soup.

4 cups of October Soup

Freezer bags (FoodSaver)

Let freeze on a cookie sheet

Stand on end after frozen solid

I transfer about 4 cups of this soup, when first cooked, to a sauce pan and add the noodles to the sauce pan.  Cooking further until the noodles are done.  Later I freeze the remaining soup.

Transfer to a sauce pan and add noodles


I have entered the items used in this recipe to “My Fitness Pal” and had it calculate the following:

Calories per serving:  441

Carbohydrates per serving: 43

Fat grams per serving:  19

Protein grams per serving:  19

Now on with the business at hand.  Tools you will need are:

  • Large stock pot – I use a 9 quart pot.
  • Chopping mat for vegetables.
  • Chopping mat for meat.
  • Sharp knife for cutting the vegetables.
  • Sharp knife for cutting the sausages.
  • Wavy chopping tool (optional)
  • 2 cup measuring cup
  • 4 cup measuring cup
  • Tablespoon measure
  • Wooden spoon or other utensil to stir the pot
  • Can opener.

Stock pot

Food prep tools

Now that the tool list is out of the way, it is time for the ingredients.


  • One package of Johnsonville HOT Italian Sausage cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • One package of Johnsonville SWEET Italian Sausage cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 3 – 14.5 ounce cans of Italian Stewed Tomatoes – tomatoes squeezed to break them into small pieces
  • 3-1/2 cups of beef broth
  • 1-1/2 cups of red cooking wine – NOTE:  The wine substitution can be a red or white table wine instead of the cooking wine.
  • 2 yellow squash cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 zucchini squash cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (Kosher salt is okay)
  • 2 Tablespoons of black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of dried parsley flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons of dried basil flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons of dried oregano flakes
  • 8 ounces of Bow Tie Noodles
  • Kraft Parmesian cheese sprinkled over the soup in the serving bowl


Italian sausage is, by far, the best meat for this soup.  As I indicated up above I have tried different types of sausages and ground beef.  The whole taste is altered and it is not very good.  Unfortunately this is one of those recipes where the little bit more costly item is the best.

Sweet Italian sausage

Hot Italian sausage

You will use all 10 of these links in this recipe.

My personal preference is to to remove the skin or the tubing from the sausage.  Leaving it on or taking it off doesn’t change the taste of the dish, nor does it change the consistency of it.  During the cooking stage I find the skin (gut) will stick to the bottom of my stock pot and tend to burn in spots.  Removing the skin helps to keep the sausage from sticking.

Slice through the tubing

Remove the tubing starting at the bottom

Peel the tubing off

One sausage at a time, cut it in half lengthwise then cut it in about 1/2 slices.  You want these to be about “bite size”.

Cut sausage in half lengthwise

Cut the sausage into 1/2 inch pieces

Sausage cut into bite sized pieces

With your soup pot on the stove over a medium low heat, add the sausage to the pot.  The medium low heat will allow the meat to cook and not stick to the bottom of the pan.  There is no need to add any additional oil to the pot before cooking the meat.

Medium low heat

Add meat chunks to the soup pot

Once all the  meat is added to the pot, give it a good stir once in a while to keep it from sticking and burning.  I had a little bit of a scorch going on while trying to photograph the steps to this recipe 😦  I had to enlist the aid of my fantastic husband to be the photographer 😀

Stir the meat once in a while to keep it from sticking

While the meat is cooking it is time to prep the onions.  Once the meat has nearly fully cooked you will add the onions and the garlic.

Just in case there are new cooks that come to this blog I have requested my “photographer” to do step by step photos.  Those of you that are skilled you can skip down to the garlic bit.

2 Medium onions chopped.

2 medium onions

Using a different cutting mat or board – or if you only own one cutting mat then give it a really good wash in hot soapy water and really good rinse in hot, hot water.  You don’t want to use a cutting mat that has raw meat on it.  Good way to make you and your family sick.  Use a clean knife as well.  If you don’t own two chef knives, then wash the one you used with the sausages really well in hot soapy water and rinse well with hot, hot water.  I’m using a different knife.  Wash your hands well with soap and water if you do have a different cutting mat and knife.

Wash your hands well before going on to the vegetables

I can hear you all now.  *eye rolls and a loud blow out of breath* “Yes, MOTHER”!

This is MY preferred method of chopping onions.  Joe says my way is totally whacked and he has tried it but does NOT like it.

Cut off the leaf section of the onion.  NOT the root end.

Cut off the leaf end first

You will have a flat surface to cut the onion in half.  (Joe cuts both the leaf end and root end off then peels the onion while still in the ball stage).  I find it takes way to long to get the first peel layer off doing it this way.  I usually end up with a really tough skin left on that ends up quite chewy in the dish.

Turn the onion over with the root end up.  You will have a stable base to cut the onion in half.

Turn the onion over to the flat side to cut it in half

Peel the onions and tear the skins off at the root.

Peel the onion skins and tear them off from the root

Holding the onion between your finger, slice it from top to bottom.  Holding the onion firmly while slicing will keep the whole thing together (most of the time)  and will keep the slices from falling over.

Hold the onion firmly as you slice through

Slice the onion down to the root.  Make that your last cut and it can be thrown away then.

Slice down to the root

Turn the sliced onion so the slices are aligned left to right then cut through the slices to create your chopped onions.  If I need to have “Small Diced” onions I put them in the food processor.  Watching the cooking experts make lengthwise slices in the onion then cutting down through the top and over scares the fool out of me.  I’m going to slice my hand open or stab myself in the belly.

Cut the onion across the slices you cut to create the chopped onions

3 Cloves of Garlic.

3 cloves of garlic

There are two ways to clean garlic.  The long way and the short way.


Cut both ends from the garlic clove.  Top and root ends.

Cut away the top end and the root end of the garlic clove

Peel away the outer skin of the garlic.

Peel away the skin from the garlic

Peeled garlic clove

The way I do it is to whack the fool out of it using the flat side of my knife blade.

Lay the flat edge of your blade over the garlic clove.  This is accomplished by using a large kitchen knife, one with the broader blade.  No initial cutting of the stem or root end, leave the clove intact for this procedure.

Flat edge of the blade covering the garlic clove

Once the clove is fully covered by the knife blade and a small amount of pressure is applied to keep the clove from rocking and rolling on you, smack the blade fairly hard with the ball of your hand.

Whack the blade with the ball of your hand

The peeling is totally dislodged from the garlic clove by this treatment.  The clove is a bit smashed but that makes the chopping part easier to accomplish.

Garlic clove is peeled at one time

This method takes about 15 seconds to do, the first one takes about 5 minutes to peel the garlic.  Next is chopping the garlic cloves.

First slice through the cloves to get them into more manageable pieces.

Slice through the cloves into manageable pieces

With your knife blade held firmly at the tip with the palm of your other hand you will be doing a rocking motion – up and down – with the blade cutting through the garlic.

Hold the tip of the blade firmly with your other hand

Rock the knife blade up and down, moving right or left each time you raise the handle end of the blade to cut into the garlic.  Work left to right in this manner until you have all the garlic chopped into ever smaller pieces.

Rock the blade up and down as you move from side to side chopping the garlic

Chopped garlic

I have created a video showing how to use a Garlic Press vs the Chef Knife.  You will see how I chop garlic.  Maybe it will help to clarify the photos above.

When the meat is nearly cooked through add your chopped onions and garlic to the pan.

When meat is almost fully cooked.....

Add the onions and garlic

Put the lid on your pot and leave the heat on medium low.  Continue cooking the meat until the onions are translucent.  For those that are new to cooking….”Translucent” means that you can sort of see through the onion pieces.  They get kind of a glassy look instead of being totally white like they are in the photo above.

Put the lid on your pan

This is what “Translucent” looks like after the onions have fully cooked.

Translucent onions

After the onions, garlic, and meat are fully cooked you will see the grease in the pan.  The Gabby Gourmet recipe says to leave the grease in the pan.  It flavors the soup.  You can choose to drain the grease or leave it in.

Drain the grease if you choose to

At this point it is time to add the wet stuff.  Italian stewed tomatoes, beef broth, and the wine (or additional broth if you will not be adding the wine).  First 3 – 14.5 ounce cans of Italian Stewed Tomatoes.

3 Cans of Italian Stewed Tomatoes

Next will be 3-1/2 cups of beef broth.  OR 5 cups of beef broth if you will NOT be adding the alcohol.

3-1/2 cups of beef broth

Finally, 1-1/2 cups of either table wine (white or red) or the same amount of a cooking wine (white or red).

1-1/2 cups of wine

Starting with the Italian Stewed Tomatoes.  Joe wanted to make sure I showed his much prized kitchen tool 😀  It is a can opener that runs along the rim of the can.  Cute little thing that latches on and buzzes around doing its intended job.

Joe's favorite can opener

This gizmo is cordless and Joe has fun watching it move all by itself around the can 😀

Cordless can opener

If you like chunky pieces of tomato in your soup then skip the next steps.  If, however, you don’t then follow these steps.

Holding your hand over the top of the can drain the fluid into the pot while stopping the tomato chunks from getting out.

Hold your hand over the mouth of the can and drain the liquid into the pot

Dump out a small amount of the tomatoes into your hand.  You will be crushing them with your fist to break the tomatoes into smaller pieces.

Dump a small amount of tomato into your hand

Squeeze the tomatoes in your fist breaking them down into smaller pieces

Repeat this step with each can of tomatoes until you have all three emptied and the tomatoes crushed.

It will begin to look like soup 😀

Starting to look like soup

Next is to add the beef broth.  3-1/2 cups of beef broth.  Remember if you will be opting out of the next ingredient then this will be increased to 5 cups.

3-1/2 cups of beef broth - or 5 if not using alcohol

Also add 1-1/2 cups of wine.  I, personally, don’t like wine.  Red wine is stronger and bitter in this recipe (in my opinion) so I use white wine.  Whatever you like, use it.  Table wine or cooking wine, doesn’t make any difference.

Add the 1-1/2 cups of wine

Now you need to cook off the alcohol in the wine.  Crank the heat up on your stove.  You want this to come to a full rolling boil and continue boiling for 15 minutes.

Turn the heat up to medium high

Bring the pot to a rolling boil

For those new to cooking a “Rolling Boil” is when the liquid contents of the pot is boiling so quickly the bubbles are large and don’t pop.  The contents of the pan seem to be rolling around in circles along with the bubbles.

A “Simmer” boil is when bubbles come to the surface of the liquid and pop.  It is slow bubbling and popping.  A “Rolling Boil” is really fast and furious and the bubbles don’t pop.

While the tomatoes, broth, and wine are cooking away and your kitchen smells heavy of alcohol it is time to tackle the squash.

2 Yellow squash and 2 Zucchini squash

Cut both ends off the squash, the stem end and the bottom end.

Cut both ends off the squash

Next slice the squash in half down the length.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise

Say, where did Lynn go?  Did anyone see?  Oh, she ran gagging and muttering from the room you say?

My friend, Lynn, from the UK ABHORS squash.  She calls them “courgettes” I think she has mentioned to me in several comments.

Well, she might return after while.  She may have had to take a tipple to get the sight of squash out of her brain 😀

Now where was I?  Oh, I remember.

Turn the squash over so the flat sides are on your cutting board.  One at a time, cut the small end away from the body.  You will be using this whole squash but cutting it into bite sized pieces.  The neck part (the smaller and skinnier part) will make “shavings” if you do this step all at one time.

Place the squash on the flat sides

Cut the neck from the body of the squash

The next step will be to cut the squash into bite sized pieces.  First start by cutting the squash lengthwise into strips.

Cut the squash into strips

Squash cut into strips

Turn the squash strips on your cutting board because you will now be making the cuts that will turn the strips into chunks.

Cut the strips into chunks

Do this to both of the yellow squashes.  Cut them both into bite sized pieces.

If you wish to have a more, shall we say, oooh and aaah look about your chopped up squash you can use this little device.  I have no idea what it is called but it can be purchased at any store that sells kitchen ware.  It makes corrugated or ripply cuts to your vegetables.

A ripply cutting device

Squash is firm but quite tender.  This ripply tool cuts easily through squash.  Use this in the same manner as I did with the chef knife.

Cut the squash piece in half lengthwise

Ooooh, pretty.

Cut your strips

Cut your chunks

The difference between the two cutting tools will be what you prefer.  Oooooh, pretty or just plain.

Wavy or plain

You will do the same cuts to the Zucchini.  First cut the stem and bottom ends off.  Cut it in half lengthwise, then cut the squash into strips, then into chunks.

Cut the ends off, cut the squash lengthwise in half, then cut it into strips

Then cut the strips into chunks

Set the chopped squash aside in a bowl.

Put the chopped squash aside in a bowl for now
Go check out the boiling pot to make sure it has not boiled dry.  Give it a stir to make sure nothing has stuck to the bottom of the pan.  The 15 minute cooking time is just about up.

When the timer goes off, turn the heat back down to medium low temperature.

Reduce heat back down to medium low

Now add the chopped squash to the hot pot.

Add the squash to the hot pot

Give the pot a good stir to incorporate the squash well.  Next will be the addition of the salt and pepper.

Salt and pepper

One TEAspoon of salt will be added to the soup.

One teaspoon of salt

One TABLEspoon of black pepper.  I use coarse ground pepper and Kosher salt in my cooking.

Add one tablespoon of pepper

Give this soup a good stir to incorporate the salt and pepper.  Put the lid on the pot and set the timer for 15 minutes.  Let this simmer to cook the squash.

Let the pot simmer

When the timer goes off it is time to add the dried herbs.  Your kitchen will smell like pizza in a little bit and the wine smell will vanish.  You will be adding dried parsley flakes, dried basil flakes, and dried oregano flakes.

Dried herbs

1 TABLEspoon of dried parsley flakes.

1 tablespoon of dried parsley

2 TABLEspoons of dried basil.

2 tablespoons of dried basil

2 TABLEspoons of dried oregano.

2 tablespoons of dried oregano

Give your pot a stir to incorporate the herbs, set your timer for 10 minutes and put the lid on the pot to simmer in all the herbal goodness.  Enjoy the smell wafting around your kitchen 😀

If you will be serving this soup to your family for dinner then the last thing to do is add the Bow Tie noodles after the timer goes off.

Bow Tie noodles

You will add 1/2 a package of the noodles, or about 8 ounces to the soup pot.  Give the noodles a good stir in, put the lid on, and let this simmer for about 12 to 15 minutes.

I have taken some of the soup out of the big pot and put it into a sauce pan for Joe and I.  As I said earlier, way up top in this post, cooked noodles don’t freeze well.  If you will be freezing the soup and eating it in small batches then one or two handfuls of noodles is more than enough for 4 cups of the soup.

Stir in the noodles to the soup

Once the noodles are done then it is time to dish up this hearty soup.  Sprinkle the top of each serving bowl with a little Parmesian cheese and stir it around.

Add Parmesian cheese to each serving bowl

Hope you enjoy this soup.  Lynn, maybe you won’t be enjoying this soup.  The wine and dried herbs make the squash more palatable to those that don’t like squash.

This soup is really good at warming you up after spending time outside in the cold *now (I’m not saying the “S” word).  It will fill your belly with scrumptuous goodness 😀

If you do give this recipe a try leave me a comment and let me know if you will be passing this recipe on to your friends and family.


This cook would also like to thank the tireless endeavors of the photographer.  Waiting patiently for the  next step in the process, or while occupied with his own things being called over to assist me.  Good job Honey Bunny :D, my readers appreciate all the hard work and deft skills you displayed in getting these amazing shots 😀


About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

2 responses to “October Soup.

  • gardenpinks

    Hello Leslie 🙂 Yes I am back from Cornwall after looking around a few houses we found one we liked and made an offer for it which has been accepted so it is all happening now 🙂
    Well done that photographer 😀 Now that soup looked scrumptious until you added squash and courgettes! Now I wonder what it would taste like without those two awful vegetables? However saying that I have a gorgeous curry recipe that calls for courgettes and that is tasty because all squashes do tend to absorb other flavours so might possibly risk it! Hate the feel of squashes/marrows though and the smell of them.
    It has certainly turned much colder here, quite a shock to the system as it was so much warmer in Cornwall!
    Right off to catch up with the rest of your postings 🙂
    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      I will get to your other comments as I can. Thanks for dropping in though.

      Awesome news on finding your new home in warmer climates. I’m so excited for you. Maybe my excitement will make packing and moving a snap :D. Fat chance on that I know.

      You might like the October Soup. As I said, Joe hates squash in any form, as you seem to but he really likes this soup.

      Sounds as though your weather has taken a turn for the worse. Bundle up and make excuses to be inside 😀

      Love you – Leslie

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