Wednesday, December 02, 2009

From brain to bowl

Just call me "The Barefoot River Rat"

I'm not normally a big soup eater. I'm really more of a meat-and-taters kinda gal. But I loooove to make soup. I think it's because, even more than most other foods, soup is creative. You can make soup out of damn near anything. And it can be as complicated or as simple as you want to make it.

See, there's been this pound of Italian sausage hangin out in my freezer for longer than it should have been. It looked at me accusingly every time I reached in there for a package of chicken or a beef roast.

Imagine that that little package of Italian sausage could talk. It'd sound just like Joe Pesci's Nicky Santoro character in
  • Casino

  • "When the fuck you gonna use me, asshole? You shit-kicking, stinky, horse-manure-smellin' motherfucker you. You don't use me, I'll stick you in a hole in the fuckin' desert."

    Mmm...ok. I've got an over-active imagination. So sue me.

    I also had some shrink-wrapped
  • gnocchi
  • in the pantry that I've been wanting to use, but could never decide on a recipe to try.

    Since we're breathlessly awaiting the first snow of the season (fuckitall) and I love all things Italian, I figured some kinda Italian soup might just hit the spot.

    And it'd get that damned Italian sausage off my back.

    Pammy's Gnocchi Soup

    1 lb. loose Italian sausage, browned and drained
    1 lg. can crushed tomatoes
    1/2 lg. onion, diced
    1 C baby carrots, sliced
    3 C fresh spinach, roughly chopped
    1 T dried celery flakes
    1 t dried basil
    1/2 t dried thyme
    3 small bay leaves (don't forget to fish 'em out before serving!)
    3 large garlic cloves, (or to your taste) grated
    Sprinkle of red pepper flakes (or as spicy as you want it)

    1 T Kitchen Bouquet and 4-5 C water (you could use beef broth or veggie stock...I didn't have any)

    1 lb. potato gnocchi

    Brown the onion in a little olive oil. Add the garlic, celery flakes, red pepper flakes basil and thyme. Throw in the drained sausage. Add the tomatoes, Kitchen Bouquet and water or stock, carrots and bay leaves. Simmer for...a while...I dunno...the longer, the better.

    Throw in the spinach and continue to simmer.

    When you think the flavors have melded (a couple hours or so, I guess...what? I look like Giada fuckin DeLaurentiis?), bring it up to a boil, add the gnocchi and cook until they float.

    Serve it up in bowls with a little sprinkle of freshly grated parm on top and some nice, crusty bread.

    It's good. It's good for you. Well...except for the sausage. And...uh...the potato gnocchi. But makes your house smell like Joe Pesci's mama's.

    I guess.

    I've never smelled Joe Pesci's mama's house. But it's what I imagine it would smell like. heh

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