Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Soup to warm your Soul

I think Cole is beginning to feel more himself again. He slept most of the night, I only got up once around midnight to snuggle and rock him.  Secretly.....I don't want to say it too loud, as it's not a habit I wish to instill....but I have to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed our midnight snuggle sessions the past two nights.  I snuggle my little punky up against my chest, and he nestles his little cheek into my neck. what happens next reminds me again that he is 100% my son.  He starts a squirmin', he turns into "all elbows and knees"....adjusting one way...then 2 seconds later turning the other. A trait that my grandpa used to always say about me.  I remember climbing right up into his lap the moment we arrived for a visit...we would sit there in his squeaky recliner usually watching Lawrence Welk....he would patiently wait for me to get comfortable while I twisted and turned, this way and that, pushing, shoving, kicking, jabbing until finally he would send me on my way to go play. he always said I was all elbows and knees.  So proud that Cole is like his mama. 

It made me chuckle as we rocked there in the dark.

It also made me sad that we are not living closer to our families as I'm sure Cole misses sitting on their laps getting so many squeezes.  In fact, he has been in withdrawal mode most of this past week.......Clinging to my leg, begging to be picked up and held. I couldn't take more than two steps away from him before he would start to whimper. He was definitely missing his entourage and the constant attention that surrounded him while visiting family.....as was I.  So I decided to bring a little bit of home to Boise. We had a bout of dreary weather last week, which reminded me of the damp and dark winters of Portland...what better way to wash them away than with a hot, steamy bowl of soup. Something that was often served growing up, my mom and I share a love of the comfort in a bowl. So Soup I made, and soup we ate. With each bite I could feel the warmth wash through my body and I immediately felt a wee bit closer to my family despite the miles that loomed between.

So if you are like me and need a bowl of joyous warmth, I want to invite you to try this soup. It had been on my list of recipes to try for awhile and I'm so glad I actually had all the ingredients on hand to whip it up. I served it with crispy and chewy pieces of garlic cheese bread...the perfect accompaniment. It will warm your soul in true Italian style.

Pasta Fagioli:
(Source: Fake Ginger)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled & chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage, I used Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage and removed from casings.
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 -2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 – 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 cup ditalini (or other small pasta)
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving
  1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium high heat. Add the diced onion and cook until it just begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots; cook, stirring frequently, for another 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the sausage to the pot, crumbling as it cooks. Cook until the sausage is no longer pink. Stir in Italian seasoning and red pepper. Stir in tomatoes and stock.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in the beans and ditalini. (Add an extra cup of stock or water at this point if it’s boiled down too much.) Simmer for 6- 8 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  5. Serve piping hot with Parmesan cheese. (I really liked the sharpness of the green onions with this as well.)

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