Spolumbo’s Sausage & Chickpea Soup

Spolumbo's & Chickpea Soup

I’m pretty smitten with this new soup. Although it uses ingredients I’m more than familiar with, the combination is somehow unlike any soup I’ve made before. Perhaps it’s the whole head of garlic. If I was the sort to do up a weekly meal plan, have meatless Mondays and pork chop Tuesdays and such, I’d make room for this soup.

Despite starting the day (at 4 am!) with firefighters straight from the 2011 hotstuff calendar, my day wasn’t so hot, teetering on about an hour and a half of sleep. It capped off a rough week – I was grateful when my sister brought Vietnamese food home from work to feed us all. Wouldn’t it be nice to be five again and ride home in the back seat, sobbing if you’re overtired and feel like a good wail, and have someone carry you inside, put your jammies on and make popcorn and apple slices for you to eat in front of How to Train Your Dragon? (The upside to not being 5 is the ability to crack open a bottle of wine to go with said popcorn and movie.)

I made this soup last week, actually, for a new little thing I’m doing for Calgary Co-op. No money is involved here – it stemmed from a conversation about the common misconception that it’s too expensive to eat well, and how to change that perception. Yes, fast food is cheap. Cooking from scratch is cheaper. I suggested to the folks at Co-op that we run a recipe with price breakdown in the Calgary Herald every Thursday, rather than the usual weekly flyer-style price listings. After all, advertising the price of ground beef for $1.79 per pound or tomatoes for $.99 a pound doesn’t make sense to many, including a good percentage of twentysomethings who don’t know how many tomatoes come in a pound and if it’s really a good deal, anyway. But to have a recipe that utilizes seasonal and sale ingredients in a way that will feed a family for less than $5 each might be more helpful to the home cook, don’t you think? With a little shopping list and everything.

So that’s how this soup came to be. It was in yesterday’s paper. It’s one to clip and save.

By the way, our cooking segment was at the Le Creuset store in Chinook this morning – let that be a hint about what the next Free Stuff will be. I’m working on it!

Spolumbo's & Chickpea Soup
Spolumbo's & Chickpea Soup

Spolumbo’s Sausage & Chickpea Soup

Recipe link


February 11, 2011

Adapted from the March 1995 issue of Bon Appétit.

  • Makes: Serves 4.


canola or olive oil, for cooking

1 lb. Spolumbos chicken apple or turkey cranberry sausage (2-3 sausages)

1 head garlic, cloves separated, peeled and chopped

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 tsp. cumin

1 14 oz (398 mL) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1-2 19 oz. (540 mL) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 L chicken or beef stock

a squeeze of fresh lime juice

fresh cilantro

1 avocado, peeled and chopped


1In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and garlic and sauté until the sausage is golden brown and cooked through, breaking up with your spoon. Add the jalapeño and cumin and cook for another minute or two.

2Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes, until everything is cooked through and the broth has thickened slightly. Add a squeeze of lime, season with salt and pepper and serve hot, topped with fresh cilantro, chopped avocado, and extra lime wedges alongside.

Makes: Serves 4.

Come join Soup-a-Palooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s Beans, Hip Hostess, Pillsbury and Westminster Crackers!


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33 comments on “Spolumbo’s Sausage & Chickpea Soup

  1. Anita
    February 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Hi Julie, I love your idea of running an ad with the recipe cost. Too many people don’t know how cheap it is to cook from scratch. I believe this is one of the barriers for healthy living, and a reason why we see so much obesity. This soup looks amazing and I will be making it soon!

  2. tara
    February 11, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    your schedule make me tired! you’re fully deserving of some pajamaed couch time. what a delicious, soul-satisfying soup this looks to be, and a brilliant feature to be running on feeding on feeding our families. g’night, friend!

  3. tara
    February 11, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    your schedule makes me tired! you’re fully deserving of some pajamaed couch time. what a delicious, soul-satisfying soup this looks to be, and a brilliant feature to be running on feeding on feeding our families. g’night, friend!

  4. kickpleat
    February 11, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Wow, Julie that is such an amazing idea! Bravo! And the soup looks super fantastic, something I’d eat up any day for dinner. I love this.

  5. Evelyn in Canada
    February 12, 2011 at 3:38 am

    I just got a library book this week call “The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook” that does exactly that: list all of the ingredients with their costs beside them. She feeds a family of 4 on $5US. Our costs here are higher, but the concepts still ring true. One thing I also like about the book is that there is a frugal tip at the bottom of each page, like “grow your own carrots to get the cost even lower” or “make your own broth from last night’s chicken”.

  6. Susan
    February 12, 2011 at 7:35 am

    This looks amazing! I’m going to sound silly here but is Spolumbo’s a brand? I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it in our little rural grocery store.

  7. Monica I.
    February 12, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Again you’ve proved you earn your cape every week.

    Thanks AGAIN for a great (and gluten-free! AND dairy-free) recipe.

    We’ll be trying this out next week. Mmm sausage and garlic.

  8. Lori
    February 12, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Susan, Spolumbo is a Calgary brand. If you’re not in or around Calgary you might not be able to find it.

    Julie, I am forever trying to convince people that cooking for yourself is not more expensive than packaged food. Maybe they’ll believe YOU!

  9. Dana
    February 12, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Julie, that is a great idea!! You amaze and inspire me.

  10. Lindsey
    February 12, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Great idea. Last year I decided to make an effort to cook healthy food from scratch. I limited restaurant food and eliminated fast food (maybe a Subway sandwich once or twice). I grew a garden and frequented farmer’s markets. In a year, I was able to lose about 50 pounds. I’m sure we saved a fortune on eating out, as we were going out a few times a week. People do not realize that fast and processed foods, while convenient, are not cheaper take a toll on our health in the long run.

  11. Cathy
    February 12, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Great idea, Julie. Love the soup! I have made one similar to this, adding sliced carrots and some fresh, chopped spinach to up the veggie content. I will make sure to try it with the garlic next time. Nothing beats a whole head of garlic!!
    Or those very cute firefighters.

  12. Avery
    February 12, 2011 at 10:34 am

    All of these ingredients are already in our pantry. Bonus!

  13. Doréus
    February 12, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Excellent idea. What? Did I read someone mentioning Le creuset?

  14. JulieVR
    February 12, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Susan – yes! sorry, Spolumbos is a group of ex football players who started a sausage company – they’re just a couple blocks from me, and have some great, very lean chicken and turkey sausages. They’re available at Calgary Co-op as well, and do sell them outside Calgary – I remember being able to buy them at Safeway in Vancouver – but I’m not sure how widely available they are. You could of course substitute any chicken or turkey sausage (or Italian or chorizo) – whatever you like!

    Doréus – stay tuned!

  15. Kathy@Chronicinthekitchen
    February 12, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Yum. Since I’m into the streamlining thing, I’d probably use salsa instead of the tomatoes and jalapeno pepper.Gotta get me some chickpeas now!

  16. Nurse Jenn
    February 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Sounds delicious. Might stretch the recipe even further offering it with day old baguette (I always buy day old bread … really don’t notice the difference).

  17. marcia
    February 12, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Making this for dinner!

  18. Stacey
    February 12, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    firefighters…sausage…soup…wine…garlic…le creuset….AND a deal all in the same place….I don’t know how to handle or describe this feeling! LOL. YUM-O! (all of it!)

  19. LJR
    February 12, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    So many of your ideas and recipies just reinforce my contention that a well stocked pantry is a cooks best friend. It is so easy to whip up a dish like this, even when one is beat, the kids are crying and starving!!!!!!!!! Love the idea of the recipie and costs are included to show the economy of cooking at home. Better yet, get the kids involved in setting the table, opening cans, stirring the sausage, etc. and you have budding cooks in their own right!!! Worked so well for me as a single mom. Both boys now heavily involved in the food supply industry and primary cooks in their family!!!!!!!! Keep rocking and rolling, Julie – you are amazing.

  20. Shauna
    February 12, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    This soup is definitely jumping into the lineup at our house next week. It sounds super simple and delicious. Future-me has a big bowl of it with a glass of wine and a chunk of no-knead bread.

  21. Cathy N in Inglewood Calgary
    February 12, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    OK now I have another excuse to saunter over to Spolumbos (I live a couple of blocks the other way from you, J)and pick up some more of their apple and chicken sausages……might just have to stop and have lunch while I’m at it! Can’t wait to make this nummy sounding soup!
    I get what you’re saying about having someone look after you for a change… sometimes it sucks being grown up!

  22. rea
    February 12, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    that soup looks delicious! i’m making it for sunday dinner.

  23. Shawna H
    February 12, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    This really reminds me of a soup I make with a mexican flair instead. Fresh chorizo sausage and black beans instead of the chick peas, a handful of frozen corn and some taco seasoning. My 8 year olds favourite part is we put tortilla chips, just the little bits leftover from the bottom of the bag, in instead of crackers.

  24. Erica B.
    February 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    This looks so much better than the grocery store deli lunch I grabbed on break today.

    This looks fantastic – and versatile. Thanks as always Julie :)

  25. Vivian
    February 13, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Making one’s OWN sausage meat and freezing it would make this recipe even more cost efficient…and you wouldn’t have the sometimes tedious job of squeezing the meat out of its casing. I agree that home-made is always cheaper and tastier…no additives etc. It’s just the time element but spending the time often leads to a love affair with one’s food…bonus. BTW, Spolumbos used to be available at the Superstore in Spruce Grove but I think they have now replaced it with their own brand. Boo hoo!

  26. Gord Lamb
    February 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I have to say as a twenty-something student I appreciate your idea about promoting affordable tasty food! Too many students think that fast food is the most affordable way to get through school.

  27. Kimberley
    February 13, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I think I’m smitten with this soup as well! And also love what you’re doing to illustrate that eating well can be done frugally – it seems like such a frequent excuse for eating poorly.

  28. Laurelie
    February 16, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Drat! Bummer about the sausage perhaps only being available in Calgary…I’ll have to look around in Edmonton a bit more, but then I think a road trip may be in order!

  29. Jenn
    February 16, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I made this for dinner last night and it was excellent. I agree that it showcases common ingredients in a whole new way. And with avocados in season right now, it’s an interesting way to eat them without resorting to tacos & guac! I wonder what a vegetarian version, with carrots and onions and red peppers (oh my!) would be like…?

  30. molly
    February 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    mmmm, this is everything i love about soup. amazing, isn’t it, how switching things up a bit yields a brand new result?

    sleep well, you superstar!

  31. Lori
    January 10, 2015 at 11:10 am

    This looks so good! I’m craving soup today & googling recipes and now I’m kicking myself for not buying the Spolumbo’s chicken Apple sausage yesterday. Bookmarking for future reference & adding the sausage to my grocery list.

  32. Avelino Lamas
    February 10, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    So Glad to see these good old Italian guys doing good in Calgary… I am remember going their very first location just down the street when I used to come to Calgary with my dad when i was just a kid… apparently they have come a long way… I believe you can get Spolumbo’s products very everywhere now including co-op etc… really good to see small business succeed !

    Glad to be in town again and I had to hit Spolumbo’s…. been a long time… I love ordering the Spolumbo’s Special of course… combination of Mortadella, Genoa Salami, Capocollo and topped with with Prosciutto… so freak’n good !

    Every day they have specials and my favourite is coming in Thursday for the Panzerotti
    Light, fluffy dough wrapped around Italian meats, cheeses and sauce. An Italian meal in itself…. So I order the Panzerotti to stay and the Special to go for later in the day lol

    I just can’t get enough of Spolumbo’s !!!

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