Cut the sausage into a 3/4 inch dice. Remove any excess fat from the chicken thighs and then dice them about the same size as the sausage.
Heat the oil in a 6 quart or larger soup pot and add the diced sausage. Once the sausage starts to render some fat, add the diced chicken and saute until the chicken loses some of its' "rawness".
Add the onion, bell pepper, celery , garlic, paprika, basil, oregano and thyme and continue to saute until the vegetables soften.
With clean hands, crush the tomatoes and add them to the pot. Give it a stir and bring to a simmer.
Add the chicken broth and bring the soup up to a boil and then down to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the cooked rice and taste the soup. This is where you'll decide if you want to add a little cayenne pepper. My sausage was very spicy so I added less than 1/4 teaspoon. It's up to you.
Bring the soup back up to a simmer, add the shrimp, put a lid on the pot and turn the heat off. The shrimp will cook within a couple of minutes. If you're making the soup early in the day, add the shrimp after re heating.
I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I learned...to this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining.
My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!