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Tuscan Soup for the Soul

You may have heard that I recently lost the contents of my hard drive and have effectively been working my way through bottles of red wine at a fairly alarming pace.

IT’S ALL LIES!

Okay… I actually did lose the contents of my hard drive.  Which sucked.  And I am going through bottles of red wine at an impressive pace.  But that’s not unusual.  In fact, I think I’m handling the loss remarkably well.  It’s like I’m on the losing end of a one-sided breakup, and I have to work my way through the stages of grief.  Plus, the red wine therapy contains loads of antioxidants, so it’s really a win-win situation.

First, I was in denial.  What?  You’re leaving me?  Yeah right.  I’ll call your bluff.  Go ahead and leave.  See what it’s like to spend a night alone.  You’ll be back.

Once the shock wore off, the pain arrived.  In waves.  I might’ve cried a little.  You’re really gone?  You just took all my pictures and left?  I miss your smell.  My world is so EMPTY without you in it.

But once I realized how ridiculous it was to cry over a piece of electronic equipment, I got angry.  Very, very angry.  I blasted the angry chick music.  I paid for YOU.  You owed me at least the courtesy of a WARNING before you went off and took EVERYTHING I LOVE away from me.

And I might’ve bargained a little.  Okay, okay, I’ll tell you what.  Just give me back my pictures, and I promise I won’t put you in the freezer again.  Just a FEW of my pictures at least?  Or maybe a page of my writing?  Anything?  Just give me something and all this torture can stop for both of us.  Give me just one picture of a monkey in a tree and I’ll give you a nice, warm bed in the TRASH CAN WHERE YOU BELONG. (I wasn’t quite over the anger stage at that point.)

And now I’m entering the stage of reflection.  I’m only just realizing the magnitude of my loss, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it hurts a little.  A lot.  And nothing you can say will make me feel better.  It’s just gone.

It’s times like these when I do what any normal woman does for comfort and support.  I’m turning to food.  The air is starting to turn brisk and the skies a little more gray.  Warm, chunky comfort food is the only cure-all – the only thing that will bring forth a warm, chunky Katie.

And since I just made chili this season, I started perusing the web for some more options.  Sausage.  Anything with sausage.  And I found this.

Spicy Tuscan Soup.

Spicy Tuscan Soup

And like any war-whithered woman post-breakup, I had to have some.  Now.

Here’s what I needed to make it:

  • You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette blasting background music
  • 1 pound Spicy Breakfast Sausage (I use Jimmy Dean’s Hot sausage)
  • 1 whole Medium Red Onion, diced
  • 2-3 slices Bacon, diced (I used 3 slices.  If you need me to explain why, then you really don’t know me like I thought you did.)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 whole Medium Potatoes
  • 1 quart Warm Water
  • 3 cubes Chicken Bouillon
  • ¼ bunch Kale, roughly chopped (I have never used kale before, either.  Don’t be scared.  And I actually have another recipe I’m going to try for the remaining kale from the bunch.)
  • ½ cups Heavy Cream  (This is breakup food, remember! Go with the good stuff.)
  • Salt And Pepper to taste

1.  Get your sausage cooking in a pot on the stove.  Once it’s brown, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pot and set it aside.  If there’s a lot of excess grease left in the pot, dump  most of that out and dispose.  (Whatever you do, do not dangle your hard drive by its USB cord over the pot of hot grease and threaten to drop it if it doesn’t surrender your pictures immediately.  People will think you are crazy.)

Brown sausage

2.  While the sausage is cooking, dice up the red onion, 3 slices of bacon and 3 cloves of garlic.  And SING that angry chick music.  Just don’t close your eyes – that’s not a good idea when you’re holding a sharp knife.  Add the onion and bacon to the (now empty) sausage pot over medium-high heat.  When the onions are cooked (translucent), add the garlic and cook for about another minute.

3.  While the onions are cooking, scrub your potatoes (you can peel them too if you’d like, but tater skins don’t bother me so I left them on).  Cut them lengthwise and then chop them into 1/4″ slices.  You can cut them even smaller if it floats your boat.

Sliced Potatoes

4.  Then add the quart of warm water to the pot with the onions.  See all those yummy brown bits on the bottom?  Adding the water will “deglaze” the pot and get all that tastiness worked back up into the soup.  And if you’ve lost all of your pictures from Costa Rica, you need those brown bits.  Also add the 3 bouillon cubes and the sliced potatoes to the pot.  Let everything simmer for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are soft-ish, but not quite fully cooked.

5.  Finally, add the sausage, chopped kale, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, and salt and pepper to taste.  It NEEDS salt and pepper.  Don’t skip this.  Just dip your special tasting spoon on in and don’t stop tasting until you get it the way you like it.  Even if you have to taste and taste and taste.  Let cook for another 5 minutes until the potatoes are soft and the kale has wilted.

Done!  Now eat it.

This hit the spot.  You know, that place on the inside of my upper thighs?  That spot.  And my love handles.  But it’s no big deal, because it’s almost winter and I’m getting over a loss.  I know this soup won’t bring my hard drive back, but it helped bring me to a place of peace and acceptance.

And the wine didn’t hurt, either.

 

Katie

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Comments

Angie Kern
Reply

Yummo, I will definately give this recipe a go! I will especially indulge in the additional red or white wine to go with it. Sorry about your hard drive!
Cheers hon!

Katie
Reply

Let me know what you think! You could probably make it really interesting with some German meats… :)

judy
Reply

Boy, after all the shit you are giving that little HP, I’m really glad I didn’t buy one! Got a Toshiba instead. There was a well-informed guy next to me who told me the T was much better than the HP. When the salesboy (he looked about 12) returned with the one I had requested, I asked him whether he would buy it (the HP) or that Toshiba. He looked me in the eye and sayd, “Handsdown, I would buy the Toshiba!” I didn’t think his commission would be increased very much for just $50 so I told him to go back and get me a T. Really like it! Love the soup recipe, too. I’ve never seen kale here though! Keep on cooking, Girl! And, you’ll only miss all that data for a little while. “It just takes time!” :)

Katie
Reply

It’s actually the external hard drive I had that crapped out… my HP mini still seems to be hanging in there. :) You should definitely try this! I honestly don’t think the kale makes a huge impact taste-wise… you could sub spinach if you can find it, but I honestly think it’s there for color more than anything else. Though it must be hard to be inspired to make soup when it’s always 80-90 degrees and sunny! ;)

Catherine
Reply

Oh no!! I’m so sorry to hear this. That really truly sucks. One good thing is that you have the pictures on this blog, right? Those aren’t lost, right?

Katie
Reply

I’ve got the pics on the blog, but not the high-resolution originals. Thanks for the sympathy… Such is life! I know there are far worse things. :)

Catherine
Reply

Ahhhh the irony…. I forgot about this post. You are right on …now if I could cook I’d make this soup. I guess I’ll go to Panera instead. Haha

Katie
Reply

But the making of the soup is part of the therapy — just throw a bunch of stuff in a pot on the stove and turn it on. You can totally do this. :)

Angela Kern
Reply

OMG, I finally made it….Yummo!
Found that didn’t really need extra salt thanks to the bacon and sausage. I used the Sage sausage because I can’t eat hot spicy stuff……No rude comment here OK! Had to use spinach leaves instead of kale because I could’nt find any. But yummo! Goes well with nummy oven fresh whole grain baguettes and a marguarita…OLE’!
Thanks hon!
Cheers

Katie
Reply

That’s awesome!! And yeah… salt is definitely taste-specific. The spinach sounds good! And you’re making me want a margarita. Miss you!!

NovaBlast
Reply

Omg just found this because the link you put in your newest blog . This look absolutely delicious . Have you ever thought of opening your own mail order restaurant . LOL

Katie
Reply

Hahaha I think it would be kind of difficult to mail soup! Trust me – I am NOT a cook. I was terrified to even try cooking about 5 years ago. But then, when I realized it didn’t hurt anyone (except sometimes my pride) to just try, I started getting more and more into it. I don’t create these recipes – I just find them and make them. Anyone can do that – including you! ;)

Kat's Landlord
Reply

You’ve got a new fan, this soup looks delicious-will try it soon–love the addition of Alanis Morrisette to the recipe ;)

Katie
Reply

Alanis is a must if you want this to turn out right. ;)

Caressa Sharp
Reply

Hey! I’m so glad you liked my recipe! It’s my all-time favorite soup :)

Katie
Reply

Hey, it’s about time you saw this! Your soup is still one of my favorite recipes — it’s awesome! Thank you so much for sharing it. Did I cut the potatoes right? I wasn’t sure how to do ’em…

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