Thursday, January 9, 2014

Simple Comfort Food

It isn't very often in the South that I feel the need for the comfort foods that remind me so much of growing up in the Midwest, but today it was needed.  The Polar Vortex has pushed it's way down upon us for a couple days. The temperature with windchill was well below zero and the worst part about it......school was CANCELLED! With no snow on the ground I was befuddled! Apparently all it takes in the South is a good stiff wind and no one leaves the house! While the kids went stir crazy (since they still have not been back since christmas break!) I decided to flip through my ever growing pile of magazines.  I came across this beautiful recipe and thought it was just the day to try it out.

Cooking Light quick and easy
If you are not a current subscriber to Cooking Light than you are making your life hard. While everything in the mag is not always "light" per say I feel like it does a good job of healthy fast dinner recipes! Let's be honest we all could use a few new recipes in our back packet. I liked this particular recipe because......it's fast!
minestrone soup

Super easy ingredients and it is to everyones liking.  Beans for the kids, "meat" for the man and wine for me! Just kidding- no wine, but it doesn't hurt to have a glass while making this.

chick peas
Now let me introduce the two tools that will make this meal and many many more in a jiffy.
William Sonoma Vegetable Chop and Measure
Do you hear the heavens singing!! I am so in love with this chopper. The Williams Sonoma Vegetable Chop & Measure is a bad cooks saving grace:) It cuts up veggies perfectly for even cooking in all of your soups and stews.  It is so easy to use my 6 year old helps with it.  So much so that it may have hit the floor and broke.  That is O.K. though because at $19.95 you can get another one! I have had mine for years so will be looking forward to a new one.
bestseller le creuset
Now this next tool is a must own. Yes I know it is super pricey, but think of it as an heirloom to pass down! They never break (fingers crossed) and really everything comes out tasting perfect.  From stove to oven to table YOU need one- just one, so pick a rad color and not a boring one. Le Creuset Dutch Ovens come in a multitude of colors to suit your style.
So you have your tools now back to the recipe!
minestrone with turkey sausage

  • Sausage and Chickpea Minestrone adapted from Cooking Light
  • 3/4 cup uncooked small shell pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 (4-ounce) link turkey Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • *2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I omitted this because I really really hate parsley)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1.Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt
  • 2. While pasta cooks, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion and next 6 ingredients (through garlic); cook 10 minutes. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, and stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in pasta, salt, and black pepper; cook 1 minute.
easy comfort food
Done and Done. So simple!

Love and Tulips,
Nicole from Alpharetta