We are in that sweet spot people. Post baseball. Post football. Pre…..well, nothing as of now.
Of course stuff will start to pop up. The big guy wants to give basketball another shot (pun, intended). And there is always training for baseball going on but right now we have a pretty open calendar.
And it’s glorious.
I used to be all OMG WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO IN THESE DARKER COLDER DAYS but now that my kids are older and not clawing on my legs it actually just feels nice to be home and chill. Having the basement complete helps a ton too. We have the room to spread out and the boys have an indoor space to run around.
This past weekend we got a pretty good taste of the slower life. I think it was around 11:00AM on Saturday. The boys and I were still in pajamas. Round two of breakfast was happening (bacon, obviously) and this Italian sausage soup was simmering away on the stove for a chillier Sunday to come.
I can not tell you how wonderful it all was. There are very few things that make me happier than all being home and stuff cooking on the stove and no where to rush off to. It’s rare so when it happens, it’s cherished.
Not to mention, this soup was THE MOST AMAZING thing to warm up after a chilly baseball game. Hearty, healthy, and it makes a ton which is perfect for leftovers or a friend. Get it going on a free day, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup
Recipe from Imperfect Polish
2 lbs sausage, casings removed (I used sweet for the family but spicy would be delicious)
2 large carrots, diced
4 celery ribs, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine
15 oz canned cannellini beans or any you like, drained and rinsed
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
8 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons dried oregano
optional: 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
optional if you have it: Parmesan rind (some stores sell them or just cut off the one you have)
to serve: kale (optional but so good, I used baby kale (found at Trader Joes)), grated parmesan, 1 1/2 cups small cooked pasta (I used a elbow macaroni)
Place a large pot medium high heat. Add two glugs of olive oil, then the sausage. Brown and cook the sausage until cooked through, breaking up into small pieces as you go. When done, turn off heat, remove sausage from pot and place in a bowl.
Turn heat back up to medium under pot and add in carrots, celery, and onion. Sauté until onions start turning translucent and carrots jut begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add wine and scrap the bottom of the pot to get all those good bits. Simmer until wine is reduced by about half, about 3-5 minutes.
Add in beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, oregano, crushed red pepper/parmesan rind if you are using either of them. Add the sausage back in. Season with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Stir to combine well, turn up heat to high and bring to boil. Then lower heat to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes.
Turn off heat and skim some of the oil/fat from the top of the soup if you want to lighten it up a bit. Then taste soup for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
To serve, ladle in bowls and place a few leaves of greens in each bowl to wilt, along with some noodles, then pile on the freshly grated parm.