Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Soup is On, Boys are Flying

I'm up at the cabin whilst a couple with whom I have swapped my Tucson house are in residence there. My grandsons are here for spring break and if their mother ever finds out just what I have let them do by way of fort building and rappelling , I'm in trouble. It's bright and sunny out but quite cold, hence the indoor chaos. Add four dogs to the mix and you'll agree that I am a candidate for sainthood. I'm letting them do their own thing because I'm working along with Genny and Peltier Effects to de-bug the new Bulletin Board and interactive component of www.connectionsforwomen.com due to go live April 1.

Friends staying at a nearby 'resort' (very basic, really comes alive through in hunting season!) dropped in for a drink last night and invited us to join them for dinner at the resort. "Are you sure the dining room is open?" I asked. Quick phone call and it became clear that short of sending them to Bear Wallow down the road that has the motto (or should have) "if we can fry it you can have it" (breakfasts are great there) , I had company for dinner. I keep a well stocked pantry here and fortified by excellent wine which friends had brought, olives and smoked salmon, we set out on a pantry raid to make , or as one boy put it, "build", a soup. No photos because by the time I remembered the camera everyone was wiping bowls clean with bread!

Close to an hour from start to finish, the following soup was on the table. Plenty for six adults with leftovers.

  • 6 sausages . We used Jenni O brand low fat Turkey/Hot Italian*
  • 2 Tbs, olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 large white onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 Cup dry white wine
  • 2 Cups diced celery
  • 2 Cup fresh green beans cut into 1" lengths
  • 4 Cups of potatoes cut into ~ 1" chunks. We used Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes unpeeled and cut in half.
  • 1/4 of a large cabbage, cut into thin slivers (kale would be equally as good)
  • 2 x 32 oz. containers (8 cups) of low sodium chicken stock. We used Progresso brand Organic.

Pre-heat oven to 400F and roast sausages until cooked, around 15 minutes. Meanwhile prep the remaining vegetables.
Heat olive oil in the soup pot until warm, add the sausage cut into 1/2" slices and saute until brown and crisp on both sides. Remove from soup pan with a slotted spoon and put aside.

Add onions and garlic to the pan and saute gently, 5 plus minutes, until soft but not browned.

Add wine to pan and cook down with the onions until almost all liquid is evaporated, scraping the bottom occasionally to loosen any stuck onions.

Carefully pour stock into the pan and add the potatoes, celery and green beans and sausage. Bring to the simmer and simmer 30 minutes or less or until potatoes are cooked through.

Five minutes before serving add the cabbage to the pot and heat through until wilted but not soggy.

Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to personal taste.

Ladle into warm , shallow soup bowls and serve with crusty bread and slices of sharp cheddar cheese.
* You could substitute any of the really good gourmet, low fat sausages available at most supermarkets. These usually come fully cooked so the pre-cooking step would be eliminated. If the sausage you use is mild, suggest a pinch of dried red pepper flakes to give it some zing.

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