This isn't a complaint, but it's well past Epiphany and I've been “stuck” in Vermont since Dec. 23. What's that thing about our best laid plans? My plan was to come home for Christmas and maybe stay for New Year's… And yet, here I am, blogging from my mother's kitchen table. In Vermont. In what is practically the middle of January.
Everything happens for a reason
This new year has gotten off to an eventful beginning. I ended the old year by surviving a freak car accident and kicked off 2012 by knocking around the Green Mountains waiting on new rear quarter glass to replace the one that got smashed out as a result of my 25-foot plummet over a bank. Thank you, black ice.
So far, 2012 has proven to be both eventful and productive. I've managed to finalize the print version of “Conscious Shopping” (yay)' re-organize my mother's kitchen (she's thrilled—just ask her); and treat myself to a couple of tragus piercings
The latter lead to much grammatical pondering as I now have a ring in each tragus and I spent an unusual amount of time wondering about the plural form. Tragi? Traguses? Or is it like the plural form of status, which is spelled like “status” but pronounced with a long 'a' and 'u'? Depending on which dictionary you look in, that is. Merriam-Webster says it's “statuses” and OED lists the aforementioned status as being the correct plural form. So I'm back to Square One when it comes to more than one tragus. Whatever. They're both Bedazzled.
New Year's Lesson No.1? Live in the moment.
All this in-the-moment living and grammar-obsessiveness puts me in mind of comfort food. After all, part of achieving balance is knowing when to take care of oneself. In a Vermont winter's snowstorm, all I want is soup. Warm, nourishing and hearty soup—and this is Kale & White Bean Soup is one of my favorites.
Kale & White Bean Soup
2 links sweet Italian sausage
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, 3 minced, 1 smashed
1 T fresh thyme
2 cans of white beans (rinsed and drained), divided
6 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)
3 medium potatoes, cubed
4 C kale, stemmed and chopped
1 tsp sea salt
Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
To cook sausage, place in a skillet with 4 tablespoons of water over medium heat. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the sausage and continue to cook, uncovered, for another 25 minutes or until golden brown.
In a large pot, saute onions and the three minced cloves of garlic in olive oil until the onions begin to soften (about five minutes). Add the fresh thyme and continue cooking for one minute (note: if you don't have fresh thyme, you can substitute one teaspoon of dried thyme). Reserve 1/2 cup of white beans and add the remaining beans to the pot along with the stock and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft (about 20 minutes).
Meanwhile, place the reserved beans, 3 T olive oil and smashed garlic in a blender or food processer and puree until smooth, then add to soup.
Halve the cooked sausage and slice in 1/2-inch slices. Add to the soup and let it continue to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
Saute the kale in olive oil until it turns bright green, then stir it into the soup and serve.
Makes 8 servings.
Note: This delicious soup converts easily to vegetarian by using vegetable stock and eliminating the sausage.