Sunday, January 30, 2011

Andouille and Red Wine Soup

We've all had those small moments in our lives when we are so proud of ourselves that we can't help but jump up and down and give ourselves a high five. And when these priceless moments happen to us, all we really want to do is share that joy, that pride, that excitement with someone...anyone who will listen.

My moment came last Thursday evening when I decided that I wanted soup for dinner. I didn't have any sort of plan or recipe, I just knew I wanted soup.


When I found one, lonely, red potato, I decided to put him out of his misery and chop him up in little pieces and saute' him in a puddle of olive oil. Then I chopped up 4 stalks of celery, smashed 4 cloves of garlic, and threw them in the puddle as well. I placed a lid on top and let them mingle.

When I opened my fridge again, I noticed a big ol' Granny Smith apple staring me in the face. My first thought was..."Nobody puts apples in soup....that's weird." But before I knew it, I was cutting the apple and adding her to the pot as well. "Weird is good." I thought to myself.

"What do I do for protein? I could use beans, but I don't like beans....unless they're the green, string bean variety." And then I remembered that I had just purchased Cajun Style Andouille Smoked Sausage links, so beans were out and meat was in. Protein....CHECK!

Drinking red wine while cooking is always recommended, and since I already had a bottle in my hand........OOPS......a half a cup of it fell into the pot. I didn't want to use the whole bottle in the soup, so I poured in some beef broth.

I added some thyme for additional flavor, some diced tomatoes for color, and in a moment of mature, grown-up behavior I opened a can of White Northern beans and allowed a few fifty beans to drop into the soup. It felt good and bad all at the same time. It was hard to do, but I've got to learn to like beans....I've GOT TO!

When I couldn't find or think of anything else to add to my "souped up" soup, I placed the lid on top, turned the heat to low, and walked away for a couple of hours.


I returned to the kitchen at 8:53 PM wearing a proud smile on my face as the delightful aroma tickled my nose. I had a good feeling about this! I removed the lid, stirred the pot, grabbed a ladle, scooped it up, filled my bowl, found a spoon, loaded it up, took a whiff, took a taste, and....


MY moment.

.....that tiny little moment of accomplishment, of a job WELL done, of beautiful magic performed.

It. Was. Amazing! And even though no one was there to high-five me, I did a little dance, sang a little song, and laughed to myself over my apparent brilliantness. (Yes, it's a word)

Now, as we all know, most soups taste better the second day, but what I'll tell you about this little number is that on the night of it's conception, there were so many flavors bouncing around on the palate that it was like happy food fireworks. I could taste the wine, I could taste the apple, I could taste the Andouille, and I could even taste the beans - the wine-soaked beans, that is. Turns out, I kind of like drunken beans. Who knew?

The next morning, I decided to relive the experience of the night before and heat up the soup for breakfast. Only now, the soup had a different flavor. It was still very good, but as with most soups, all the flavors merged into one and the "wild party" from the evening before had simmered, the pandemonium had subsided, and even though I was enjoying the same flavors, somewhere in the magic of the overnight hours, they had become one brand new flavor.

I recommend eating the soup the night you make it and eating it again the next day and have yourself two different won't be disappointed!

(Thanks for letting me share this moment with you!)

Andouille and Red Wine Soup

6 Ounces Cajun Style Andouille Smoked Sausage
Olive Oil
One Medium Red Potato, finely chopped
4 Stalk Celery, finely chopped
4 Large Garlic Cloves, smashed
One Granny Smith Apple, finely chopped
14 Ounces Diced Tomatoes
7.5 Ounces White Northern Beans
One Teaspoon Thyme
1/2 Cup Red Wine ( not dry )
2 Cups Beef Broth

In a good size skillet or pot, saute' potato, celery, garlic, and apple. Add thyme, sausage, tomatoes, and red wine. Cook for a little while longer. Then add broth and beans. Let simmer on stovetop for at least 2 hours.



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