Purple Kitchen Treats

Over the past few years, I have been working on a cookbook. During this time, I took time off to finish my Master's Degree. Now that I have accomplished that, I am working again on my cookbook, slowly but surely.

However, over the past few months, something interesting has happened...I have received multiple requests for baked goods, particularly my cookies. I am also receiving multiple requests for granola. So, with all these requests in mind, I have started to make my cookies for sale, along with my granola.

My official web site is available, but will be undergoing a significant redesign. Be sure to visit my "official" web site at: http://www.susanshonk.com and watch for some exciting changes.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,

Sunday, January 23, 2011

365 in 365 - #23 - Sausage Soup

This is a soup that I discovered while on vacation in New England one fall.  My father and I were looking for something to warm us up because it was so cold.  Being from Texas, we knew that we wouldn’t find the greatest Chili in Massachusetts, so we looked for something else.  We went to a restaurant that was a favorite when we lived in Massachusetts.  The waiter suggested that we try this soup.  I ordered a cup to give it a try and then ordered a bowl of it.  It was so good, that we ended up back at this restaurant on 2 more occasions just for the soup.  

This is my version of this soup.  I was not able to wrangle the recipe out of the chef, so I made up my own.  My father says that this is better than the restaurant’s version……hmmm?

Sausage Soup

The Sausage
   2 lbs of ground turkey
3 tsp rubbed sage
1 ½ tsp thyme
1 ½ tsp anise seed
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, if desired.
Mix all the above ingredients together and refrigerate at least 4 hours.  If you have the time, refrigerate over night.    This also makes a great addition to breakfast as a sausage substitute and can be used in any recipe calling for sweet or hot Italian sausage.

The Soup
4 quarts of chicken stock
2 large onions, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
   2 cans of peeled, chopped tomatoes
½ lb baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained
1 ½ cups of long grain white rice (not the quick cooking kind)
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

In a large stock pot, cook the onions in the olive oil until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook gently for a few moments.  Watch the garlic to be certain that it doesn’t burn.  Add the chicken stock and the tomatoes, cover and bring to a simmer.

While the base is coming to a simmer, lightly brown the sausage in a large skillet with olive oil.  The texture should be fine and not too chunky.  I use a wire “s” shaped wire potato masher to mash and cook the sausage meat.  Once it is cooked through, add this and the rice to the base and continue simmering, covered, for 30 minutes.  Add the spinach last, cover and simmer gently until the spinach is wilted.

Serve in your favorite bowl, garnish with shredded parmesan cheese or parmesan crisps* and serve with toasted Italian bread spread with oven roasted garlic.  What a treat!

This soup freezes very well and will be a welcome addition to any table.  

It also works well as a “pot luck” item.

*Parmesan Crisps – for each crisp, place 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese in a 4 inch round on a cookie sheet and baked at 350` until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  This will crisp up nicely and can be used as a garnish for multiple meals, including a Caesar Salad.


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