Can we talk about something on this, my first ever blog post? I am not a photographer. I have thought about starting this blog for years and I didn’t because I am totally intimidated by food photography. It just isn’t my thing. My counter isn’t pretty enough, I don’t have a fancy camera, lighting food so that it doesn’t look shnasty in pictures is really hard. And now that I’ve decided to bite the bullet? I always forget to take pictures because I’m hungry. What, were you expecting a better excuse than that?
So here it is. A crappy photo of a totally delicious soup that I snapped on my iPhone. I promise to work on my photos, if you, my dear readers, promise not to judge while I figure it out. And if you promise to make this soup!
This winter has been horrible, the worst winter in memory (again? don’t they say this every year?), the Starks are always right in the end, blah, blah, blah. The night I made this soup it was below freezing outside. One of those nights when I got off the train and pulled on a hat and the hood of my puffy coat — which is so huge I look like ET — and bent against a totally frigid wind to walk home, with a stop at the grocery store to pick up stuff for dinner. Most of my body was warm-ish in my winter armor — thick socks, tall boots, pants, puffy coat, gloves, scarf, hat, hood. Only my face was exposed. Which was unfortunate, because the wind was blowing inside my hood and creating a little mini-arctic tornado in there. My face stinging with cold, I dreamed of a something warm and hearty for dinner, something that would come together quick and leave me enough to take something to work the next day. (I know. Why wasn’t I dreaming of a beach? It was a weird but totally typical move.) As frostbite slowly creeped across face, I pulled up my favorite mommy blog, popped into the grocery store, cursed the winter, ran home, collapsed into a frozen puddle on the floor, poured a glass of wine, cursed the winter, drank that glass of wine, cursed the winter, and got started on dinner. Half an hour later I was slurping up my first spoonful of this delicious stew, very proud of myself, when I realized I forgot to take any photos while I was making it.
Oh well, I’ll be better next time.
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- Pinch fennel seeds (optional)
- Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage
- 1 box chicken stock
- 1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 14 oz cans pinto beans
- Parmesan rind (optional)
- 1 bunch kale
- Handful fresh grated parmesan cheese
- Chop the onion and saute it in a glug of olive oil on medium. While the onion is cooking, smash and mince the garlic, then throw it in with the onion. Add the fennel seeds and red pepper flakes and give them a stir -- the onion should be losing its opaque whiteness by now. Remove the casings from the sausage and throw it into the pot with the onion and garlic. Cook until it has lost its raw, red color. Stir the sausage as it browns, breaking up any large pieces.
- While the sausage is cooking, wash the kale -- I usually do this by removing the stems and tearing the kale into bite-sized pieces. I throw the pieces into a colander in the sink and give them a rinse and a toss after I add each leaf of kale so each piece gets rinsed as I go.
- Drain and rinse the beans. Once the sausage is cooked through, add the chicken stock, canned tomatoes (with their juices), and the drained beans to the pot. Throw in a parmesan rind if you have one in the fridge. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce back down to a simmer. Add the kale and let simmer for five minutes or so -- just long enough that everything gets that yummy cooked-together flavor.
- Serve with grated parmesan.