Monday, February 27, 2012

The Long Journey Back

Soooooo, yeah, I haven't posted anything in a really long time.....a really, really, long time. Now for anyone even remotely curious you might be asking "why ?" The only answer I can give is that basically I got knocked up, and I reluctantly admit that I am not a super mom or a super pregnant lady and due to unforeseen and predictable circumstances, I found myself unable to be inspired by food for quite some time. What circumstances could have caused this lack of inspiration? Well it could have been the annoying yet predictable recurrence of nausea for at least 4 months, or the unpredictable gestational diabetes that followed (oh carbs, how do I love thee....let me count the ways!), which pretty much eliminated the possibility of me being able to each anything interesting for the rest of my pregnancy, and finally the complete and utter chaos of a four year old and a newborn. Now I know, there are a lot of people out there that have more than two kids and somehow achieve greatness, but hey, I am still learning how to parent two, so give me a little bit of a break (and as previously stipulated, I am no super mom). Anyway, life has finally started to return a little closer to normal, I have now successfully figured out how to find 10 minutes to grab a shower without major catastrophe's occurring, and my newest addition is sleeping through the night (now that I have stated this fact I have jinxed myself and now she will not sleep through the night....awesome).  In addition to a shower I have also found a way to steal a few moments to write a post, and thus hopefully I can return to the blog bandwagon. Now boarding the blog bandwagon seemed somehow much easier when I started writing this post, but grew increasingly difficult when I had to consider what recipe I wanted to post. Carb deprivation, complete lack of sleep, and raging hormones all accumulated to complete and utter emotional instability and therefore a severe lack of motivation to cook anything requiring some effort for quite some time.....I think I have over dramatized my pre/post pregnancy reality......I'll quit milking it! Anyway, I had to find a way to regain my culinary inspiration and this recipe was just the trick. It came to me on a very chilly and dreary day and was just the right thing to bring me back (the fancy set of All Clad utensils my hubby bought me helped just a little bit too) to gastronomic enlightenment (I love that!). It involved making delicious homemade chicken stock, which I detailed here, and adding lots of healthy veggies and of course pasta! So here it is, my return to the food blog universe, I hope the food force will be strong with me........where's Yoda when you need him.

Tortellini Soup With Sausage and Kale

1 1/2 lbs sweet Italian sausage (linked)
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups diced onion
2 cups diced carrots
4 garlic cloves minced
2 bunches of kale roughly chopped
8 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
1 lb cheese tortellini
salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Extra virgin olive oil

In a large stockpot heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the sausages and cook until no longer pink in the middle, and browned on both side, about 5 minutes.  Remove sausages from pan and set aside.  Add the onions, carrots, and garlic to pot, cook the veggies until the carrots are tender and the onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the kale, and cook until it starts to wilt, another 5 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.   Reduce soup to a simmer and simmer until kale is tender, about another 15 minutes.  Add the tortellini and cook until pasta is Al dente, about another 3 minutes.  Slice the reserved sausage and add to the soup.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve the soup with freshly grated Parmesan, a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and some good crusty bread.  Yummmm.

I used rainbow tortellini just to give the soup some color!