I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. - Mark Twain

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Are we there yet?

Dear dog almighty but I am done with this mess. Is it still winter? Can I opt out? No? Let me figure out how to spell aaaggghhh and I'll be right back...

We finally came out of the deep freeze (for the Mid-A, anyway) only to get some more rain and therefore soil so soggy I can't even walk in the HIGH side of the yard without sinking in halfway up my shoes (which may help the gentle reader understand the title of this blog).

That was the obligatory winter bitch for this month; I'm all done now. March 21 is right around the corner, isn't it? (Pleasepleaseplease).

The seed envelopes are beckoning, and I am about to dive in with merry abandon to plan the 2010 garden. Until then here is a little bit of snuggle for your tummy, as I believe that Soup Can Save the Human Race, and the next garden will have lots of soup ingredients. I hope.

The croutons here really add a nice carb note- sorry, Atkins devotees!

White Bean and Sausage Stew
8 servings

Stew ingredients
2 Tbs. oil
8 oz. veggie Italian sausage, sliced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 cups or 2 cans (~15 oz. each) white beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups or 2 cans (~15 oz. each) diced tomatoes
½ cup vegetable broth or water
½ tsp. salt, to taste
¼ tsp. pepper, to taste
½ tsp. dried thyme, to taste
½ tsp. dried rosemary, to taste

Crouton ingredients
2 cups small croutons, diced from coarse bread (2 - 3 slices)
2 Tbs. oil
1 clove garlic, minced and mashed
½ tsp. salt, to taste
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tbs. minced dried parsley, chives, or other dried herbs of choice

Heat oil in a 5-qt pot or deep saute pan over medium heat. Brown veggie sausage, turning frequently, until heated through and beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate on paper towels and set aside.

In the same pot, sauté carrots, celery, onion and garlic until beginning to soften, adding more oil if necessary, about 5 minutes.

Add sausage and remaining stew ingredients to saucepan. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, or until heated through.

While stew is simmering, heat oven to 375ºF. Lightly oil a cookie sheet.

Place croutons in a large bowl. Blend oil, garlic, and seasonings together in a small bowl, drizzle over croutons, and toss thoroughly to combine. Spread on prepared baking sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, tossing once or twice, until toasted.

Remove to the bowl used previously, and toss croutons with herbs while still hot. Cool slightly to allow the croutons to crisp up, and serve over stew.

Adapted from a recipe at Woman's Day.


  1. mmmmm...this sounds divine. even panera can't top this, I don't think! Garp and i will see you tomorrow.

  2. I may need to try your recipe! I love the addition of the croutons to any soup. White beans and sausage go great together. Just finished some soup I made yesterday with white bean, chix broth, sausage, spinach, pasta, and some red pepper flakes.

  3. Croutons rock! The original recipe did more of a bread crumb topping, but croutons crunch much better and thus are much more satisfying. Today will be another good day to make soup, I think, while waiting for our NEXT snow. Looks like you had a much more positive attitude about this mess than I did- I can't shovel another flake!!!