PeaceBang’s Crazy, Sad Week Stewy Sausage Soup

What a time.

On December 16, a reckless driver* smashed into a telephone pole at the end of my driveway and flipped her car. She’s going to be okay.

The power surges that wracked my old parsonage the next morning while the electric company restored power completely burned out multiple appliances. Washer and dryer. Dustbusters. Television. DVD player. Treadmill.

Insurance companies. Blergh. Replacing appliances. Then — you know what happened in Newtown, CT. Grief. Holiday preparation insanity at church. Life going on. I am trying not to eat for comfort but I think that’s probably not going to happen. At least I’m eating nourishing things, like this soup.

Ingredients: a bag of mixed soup beans. 1 lb. soft sweet pork sausage. 1 onion. 2-4 ribs of washed celery. 1 small can diced tomatoes with their juice. Some small pasta. 1/2 -1 bag frozen kale or other green. Chicken bouillon. Aleppo pepper, tumeric.

Soak a bag of mixed soup beans overnight.

Rinse them and cover them with water by about 3″. Bring to a boil, add a big tablespoon of chicken bouillon (I find Better Than Bouillon brand by far the best – or use their vegetable base, it’s also delicious) and then simmer on low until the beans are soft.

While your beans are simmering, sautee one onion and a few ribs of chopped celery in some olive oil. While the onion and celery still a bit crispy, slice the sausage skins and add the sausage in the same pan. Continue sauteeing on low-medium heat until the sausage is well-cooked and the onion and celery are very soft.  Season with aleppo pepper and salt + pepper.

When your beans are soft, add about a cup of some small pasta and the frozen kale to the pot. Stir well, and GENTLY bring the soup back to the boil. Keep an eye on the pot, as you are now cooking the pasta and the soup and you want to make sure you have enough liquid. When your pasta is almost done, carefully add the sausage/celery/onion mix from your pan. Plop in a cup or so of frozen cut green beans. Stir in a teaspoon of tumeric, ’cause it’s good for you.

Simmer on low and stir gently until the pasta is fully cooked and all the flavors have blended.

Serve with crusty bread and a salad and enjoy.

This soup is amazing the next day and freezes well.

* The reckless driver? She was furious with me for an earlier draft of this post that called her a “drunk driver.” My mistake. I don’t know how I could have thought such a thing, knowing that she drove directly out of the parking lot of the local tavern, where she had spent at least a couple of hours, and into a telephone pole.  And yet she’s angry with me. She kept her dog locked in a cold car while she spent all that time in a tavern, by the way. The poor old guy was traumatized in the accident. I took him home with me to keep him safe. And she’s …angry… with… me. I want to thank my colleagues and many friends who heard about this outrageous confrontation and encouraged me to “name and shame.” I’m not naming her, but … shame on her. She was charged with driving to endanger, which is a criminal charge. File this under “no good deed goes unpunished.” Poor doggie.