I used this recipe as the basis for a modified version, based on what I had around. As written, I think the recipe would lack depth of flavor, and that the beans would detract from the main apple and sausage flavor.
I didn't have any crushed tomatoes, so I used 6oz. of tomato paste, which I browned with 1 onion, 2 tsp. minced garlic, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. ground mustard, 1/2 tsp. paprika, and 1/4 tsp. rubbed sage. I then deglazed with a cup of pinot noir, and then added the brown sugar, 2 whole chopped red peppers, 2 cups beef broth (I was out of chicken) and a cup of water. Then added the Italian sausage and apple, a bay leaf, and simmered until we were ready to eat (probably about two hours).
I completely missed the cider vinegar as an ingredient, but I think the wine did the same thing by adding acidity. I omitted the beans, again because I didn't think they'd be the right flavor.
We LOVED it - my husband, who normally doesn't like soup, liked it so much he told me to make sure to write down my modifications for future use! The sweet-spicy combo was fantastic, and very different from most soups. Don't omit the apple; it's what really makes this *different*, and not just a kind of tomato-pasta sauce.
Thanks so much for the recipe inspiration!
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I used this recipe as the basis for a modified version, based on what I had around. As...