The Comfort of Pondering Plurals Over Soup

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.

Comfort Food

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

Olive oil
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.

Please leave a comment

  1. Patsy White Says:

    For the longest time I didn't put sausage in soup.  I don't know why, but when a dear now-departed friend gave me her recipe for Italian Soup with both hot and sweet Italian sausage in it, I was hooked.  This soup recipe looks great to try.  I agree with the blog you posted saying we didn't need to buy soups or canned beans anymore because it's so easy and quick  to make our own.  My doc said the same thing in order to cut down on my salt intake.

  2. Shira Adler aka Diva Mama Says:

    I love the soup as I love everything you create, share and serve.  
    But I was so caught up in an eerily queasy way with the tragus piercing part. . . (nope, can't help you either on the plural/grammar question) I had to google it!  So, since you're stuck in the snow, I thought I'd share an article with you that you can read while you are hanging out at Ma's kitchen table.  The funniest part about this the article's tone reminds me of a Masterpiece Theatre narrator.  Enjoy and come home SAFELY!

  3. Glenda Lagerstedt Says:

    Delicious hot soups and a cleverly reorganized kitchen!  It has been a time of nourishing the body and nurturing the soul.  Add the blessing of a daughter's protection during what could have been a very tragic accident, and I can say it doesn't get any better than this.  About the tragus dilemma, I can only say that I scrubbed those ears of yours hundreds of times (though not recently, of course) and never knew til now that they came equipped with…um…tragusses…er…um…more than one tragus??

  4. Maia Lagerstedt Says:

    Folks, meet my mom! She's awesome. She reads my blog and lets me take over the kitchen whenever I come home for a visit–she even has a great sense of humor about all those posts where I blame her for all those things for which daughters blame their mothers. That's what she gets for raising a writer.

  5. maureen Says:

    let's have coffee when you get back I am needing a friend and have some ideas; would you like to possibly come over and try St.Pete Heat Hot Sauces; I have samplings; only one bottle left to sell, but at least you can try them..also, I have ammo powder which is awesome; like something you would use in a stew or chili. Missing you so hurry back so we can chat a bit; I have some interesting stuff I want to tell you. Hope you're feeling better since the accident; Always thinking of you! Mo

  6. Maia Says:

    Thanks, Mo! I'm definitely feeling better–and grateful to be here! Can't wait to try the hot sauces–I bet we can jazz up some cool recipes. 

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