Soup. I hear it's good food.

Sausage-Potato Soup

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Is this really a recipe?  I’m going to say yes.  Yes it is.

I have been eating a lot of soup lately.  This soup in particular is the result of me realizing we’re about to go out of town and I really need to use up stuff in my fridge.  You could probably do this with ground beef in a pinch, but you might want to amp up the spices.  Also, doubling is encouraged if you’re eating for more than one or two.  You could even just double the veggies, spices, and broth and leave the meat quantity alone, if you wanted something less hearty (you will need a bigger pot, naturally).  You could swap out the potatoes and swap in white beans.  You could use kale instead of spinach.  You could try it with sweet potatoes instead of white.  It’s versatile like that.  Also, it’s on the table in about 20 minutes, and you can peel and chop your veggies while the meat cooks, so the economy of time to flavor ratio is excellent.  Enjoy.

Sausage-Potato Soup

Serves 2-3
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Allergy Egg
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Medium onion (minced)
  • 2 Links sweet Italian sausages (raw)
  • 1 Medium russet potato (peeled, cubed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano (dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme (dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 1/2 clove garlic, minced/grated
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup chopped, frozen spinach
  • 1 Medium carrot (peeled, diced)
  • 1 Large egg (beaten)

Optional

  • drizzle olive oil
  • sprinkle grated parmesan cheese

Directions

1. In a medium-sized soup pot (2-3 quarts), squeeze the sausage out of its casing in little lumps and heat over medium-high heat. I prefer to break the sausage up this way because beating it up when it's in the pan and cooking is just too much trouble. While the sausage is browning, chop all your veggies.
2. While the sausage is still a bit pink, add the onion and give everything a stir so that the fat from the sausage coats the onion. Allow to cook while you keep on chopping veggies.
3. Stir in the potato cubes, then add the spices (oregano, thyme, garlic), broth, and water. Add the frozen spinach. Stir, and allow the pot to come to a simmer. Taste for salt; season according to taste. Cook for 7 minutes at a simmer, stirring occasionally, then add the carrots and continue cooking until the potatoes are soft, about 3-5 minutes more. (If you prefer mushy carrots, then add them with the spinach. I like my carrots to have a bit of bite, though, so I don't add them until the end.)
4. With the soup simmering and stirring constantly, slowly drizzle in the beaten egg. Turn off heat and dish up. Garnish with olive oil (I like a lemon-scented one with this) and parmesan, as needed. Fresh ground pepper is also excellent with this.

Great All-Corn Cornbread

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I am a bit of a cornbread freak.  Not that Mom was exactly known for cornbread — she used a mix and no one thought twice about it — but when she made chili, she made cornbread, and I ate both in spades.

Later in life, I found Crescent Dragonwagon’s recipe and my cornbread love reached new, cornier heights. More importantly, I came to appreciate cornbread that isn’t corncake.  Which is, sadly, what you all too often get when you order cornbread: cloying, unnecessarily moist, and more like dessert.

When I gave up wheat, I despaired a little because while all-cornmeal cornbread is good, it wasn’t great. Then I discovered corn flour — a lighter, finer grind of cornmeal — and suddenly everything got better.

Why does it work?  Well, cornbread is a quick bread, and gluten’s allure — creating that nice protein structure that gives sourdough its holes — isn’t really needed.  Baking soda/powder will raise the quickbread just fine, with or without gluten along for the ride, so long as the batter isn’t too heavy.  Which it isn’t, thanks to the corn flour!  Bonus: your cornbread will taste even “cornier”. Whoo hoo!

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