|I haven't posted much as of yet.. hubbs has been out of town and I thought I'd still be cooking quite a bit, but eh.. hasn't happened so much. I found cooking for 1 is kind of a buttpain after putting in my 8 every day with no one else home to appreciate it, ugh. I did bake again this weekend.. a recipe I found somewhere on the internet called "Chewy Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies" - well they need to keep that recipe secret a while longer. I didn't even bother taking pictures, I could tell the minute they came out of the oven they were going to be drier than the Mojave. The description was something about someone's Grandmother made these and they were the most moist, chewy, wonderful chocolate chip cookies of all time.. blech. I am on a quest to find the perfect chocolate chip cookie.. I want the chewiness! I want the moistness! I want to stick my hand in the jar 2 days later and still have chewy, moist goodness! Is that too much to ask? I think not.|
Anyhoo.. I WILL be cooking up a storm this weekend for Wayne! Other than taking my mommie out to dinner on Friday night, I've promised him good home cooked meals. I started my promise last night and made him some soup. It's a recipe I've had in my recipe box for many, many years - but never made it! When I had originally found it, I thought it was like the sausage soup that Olive Garden serves, which my mom loves. It's not.. not even close. This is a beef/tomato base, where their soup is more of a cream and no tomato base. Regardless, this soup turned out to be the BEST soup I've ever had. Seriously. And I like soup, so I've tried quite a few of them. This was easy to prepare and quick to make. I did make a few changes in the recipe and I'll note them below.
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (I just used bulk sausage)
1 c. chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
6+ c. beef stock
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. red wine
2 regular size cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes with the juice
1 c. thinly sliced carrots
1 c. diced yellow bell pepper
1 (1 lb.) bag of baby spinach
1 TBS. packed fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 c. sliced zucchini or 1 1/2 c. celery - leaves and all
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 lb. fresh tortellini pasta
3 TBS. chopped, fresh parsley *I bought it but didn't use it.. went with more basil*
1/8 c. soy sauce (Optional - *See Note)
Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved
In a 5 qt. Dutch oven, brown sausage. Remove sausage & drain, reserving 1 TBS. of drippings.
Saute onions & garlic in drippings. Stir in beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, all the veggies, basil, oregano, tomato sauce & sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Skim fat from the soup. Stir in zucchini, tortellini and parsley. If the tortellini are fresh, add them in the last 10 min. of simmering. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. *This would be the hour mark and I still felt it needed more saltiness and flavor - so I added 1/8 c. soy sauce*
Sprinkle with shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top of each serving. I also served (har! to myself) this with crunchy garlic bread - which is simply sliced italian bread with a compound garlic butter spread on top and then grated romano cheese sprinkled over that and broiled until golden brown and delicious. =) The cheese won't melt, but instead creates a crunchy topping.