Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Annotated Sausage and Rice Soup Recipe

I like food. I like to eat food. And sometimes, I like to make food. I can cook. I'm not a super-awesome cook (my mom is, though). I'm more of a baker than a cook, but cooking is more useful than baking. I mean, you CAN eat peanut butter cookies for dinner, but you SHOULDN'T. I'm always confused by people who say they can't cook. I'm one of those people who's like, "Um. Can you read? Because if you can read a recipe, you can follow it." Chances are, you'll turn out something eat-able.

I like soup. Especially in the fall and winter. You probably do, too. So, read this recipe that I mostly made up! I don't measure things, really, so don't expect me to tell you to add 1 cup or 1 tablespoon of something. It won't matter so if you like a lot of something, add more. If you don't like it, add less or not at all.

1 quart of chicken stock
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce)
1 can white (cannelini) beans

Minced garlic (I'm lazy and buy a jar of minced garlic. If you're a better person than me, mince some up fresh!)

Rice (I use those boil-in-a-bag-things. I find rice...challenging.)

4 (or however much) patties (or actual sausages, cut the casing and squeeze out the sausage. This is actually really fun!) of Italian sausage (I used sweet but it's entirely up to you. If you live on the wild side, use hot!)

All seasonings are subject to change. Add whatever sounds good.
Seasoned salt
Black pepper
Bay leaf
Crushed red pepper
Fresh herbs would be really good. If you have some fresh basil or oregano, chop some up! Just not cilantro. I fucking hate cilantro.

Brown sausage, breaking into teeny pieces

Chop vegetables, put a little water on them and toss in microwave for a few minutes to soften them up (this isn't required. It just makes it cook faster). Coat bottom of large pot with olive oil, add vegetables and some minced garlic. Cook until onions start to look translucent. Add stock, tomato sauce and a can or two of water. Rinse white beans and add. Add sausage. Add seasonings. (I don't measure, so add until it looks right.) Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes or so. Cook rice according to package instructions. Drain and add rice to soup. Simmer for awhile longer. Remove bay leaf.

Eat with grated cheese and bread.

If storing, cool for no more than two hours and then refrigerate or freeze.

  • The soup will be fairly zippy and spicy. The spiciness will mellow by the next day.
  • I cook the sausage and rice separately for the following reasons: 1. I'm too much of a food safety ninny to add raw meat to soup 2. Cooking the rice in the soup would sop up all the broth and make it taste all starchy.
  • This is a really good base for soups. You could add tortellinis and a handful of baby spinach for tortellini soup. You could add different vegetables for minestrone, or pasta for pasta fagioli.
  • If you're a vegetarian, you could certainly use vegetable broth and soy sausage (they have that, right?). Whatever. I'm not the boss of you.
  • I always, always, always forget to remove the bay leaf. I should start handing out a prize for whoever gets the bay leaf in their bowl of soup.

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