Saturday, January 23, 2016

Soup Night Gathering

Soup Night - what a lovely idea!!!  A friend of mine's daughter had a soup night that I went to back in the fall and the idea sparked my interest in gathering some friends at my house.  With the Winter weather creating the doldrums in some people's mind,  I decided to gather a few friends and enjoy a new recipe for Tuscan Bean, Cabbage and Sausage Soup!  (Recipe below.)
It was wonderful - the gathering of some of my favorite people around a table sharing our stories and our laughter was so uplifting and pure fun!!!

Think about the word "gathering" for a minute.  To bring or come together.  To draw about or closer to something (or someone!)  To amass.  To convene, flock, or huddle together.  The birds and geese do it, so why don't we more often???  I know we gather for the holidays, but why not after the holidays?  Why not make it a regular occurrence to gather???  If you haven't had a few friends over in a while, try it!  Soup is simple and easy to fix - you can use your imagination and make whatever you like!  Gather a few friends, add to it a chopped salad and some Ginger ale and/or wine, if you like and enjoy!!!
It is amazing!!!  (Thank you Christine and Rachel for the great idea!!!)

Tuscan Bean, Cabbage & Sausage Soup

2 TBSP. Olive Oil
2 onions, diced
1 (12 ounce) package of Sweet Apple and Gouda Chicken  Sausage (available at Costco)
3 ribs of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
6 gloves of garlic smashed and/or thinly sliced (I used pre-made minced garlic)
8 cups of Chicken broth
1 cup of dried navy beans, rinsed  (or 1 can of navy beans)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 head cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and roughly chopped (any greens will work!)
1 TBSP. chopped fresh rosemary

Saute the onions in olive oil and cook/stir about 10 minutes.  Add the sausage and cook/stir 5 minutes.  Add celery and carrots and cook/stir 5 more minutes.  Add the garlic and cook/stir 1 minute.

Add the broth, beans, bay leaves, dried rosemary, fennel seeds, salt, pepper and stir to mix.  Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer (partially covered) or in a crock pot for 1 and 1/2 hours until the beans are tender.

Remove and discard the bay leaves from the soup, Taste for seasoning and add more salt/pepper to take.  Stir in the cabbage and cook until tender about 15 minutes.  Add the Swiss chard and fresh rosemary and simmer until the chard begins to wilt, about 5 more minutes.  Serve warm with big slices of grilled or toasted bread buttered with olive oil and seasoned with sea salt.


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