Sausage soup for four, Hearty breakfast for Tree-Hunting.

(Still playing catch-up…)

A couple weeks ago I finally got around to trying my mom’s Simple Sausage Soup recipe, which she had long been telling me was a great weeknight soup. It involves a bit of sausage browned first in the pan, then held back to be added in at the end, cannelini beans, good canned tomatoes (Muir Glen), and not too much else.
At the end, along with the sausage, you add in a couple handfuls of julienned spinach. I improvised when I discovered that the soup was much more liquidy than I like–I’m a big fan of thick soups and don’t usually like brothy ones as much–and pureed some of the beans in the pot using my immersion blender. (That, by the way, is among my best wedding gifts. I use it several times a week, for pureeing soups, making strange flavor eggplant, beating egg whites, etc. It’s so easy to clean, I’m much more willing to use it than the cuisinart or a blender or something.)

I served the soup with assorted panini, which I forgot to photograph, and it was a nice quick dinner for a couple friends.

[Sidetrack about plates: I never thought much about plating my food before moving up here, since I so rarely cooked anything beyond a friend egg sandwich, scrambled eggs with toast, etc. We did get 12 place settings of nice china for the wedding, but we currently have them in storage until we’re settled into our long-term apartment next year. So our combined dishes are plentiful, but utilitarian and not very refined. We also didn’t have any pasta/soup bowls. I hated serving pasta and soup to guests in big tall cereal bowls, so we picked up 8 simple shallow bowls at Ikea last month, and I’ve really enjoyed using them. In fact, I’ve used them for the last 4 or 5 dinners I’ve made, in a row!]

Last weekend my dear friend Bridge came for a visit with her boyfriend, and we went Christmas Tree Hunting. To prepare for a day prowling the wilds of New Hampshire (actually a Vermont tree farm; very rustic) we made an enormous country breakfast. Ben is the Pancake Man in our house, and I contributed eggs and sausage. I dearly, dearly love breakfast…

Thus fortified, we triumphed over nature with the acquisition of a very lovely tree:

Which was soon trimmed, to great effect:

So festive!

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