The Zadge is a recovering vegetarian.
In 1986, I stopped eating meat. Not for moral or religious reasons, mind you. No, I stopped eating meat because I got food poisoning from a Wendy’s hamburger. As I lay on the bathroom floor, expelling Wendy’s burger from every available orifice, I swore that if I lived, I’d never eat meat again.
And for two decades I didn’t. (Well, after about 10 years, I added chicken to the rotation, after my hairdresser suggested I needed the protein to fluff up the “baby goose.”) Then one day, out of the blue, I just decided it was time. Time to rejoin the meat-eating world.
So I dove in. And here’s the thing: The Zadge now loves, loves bad meats. Sausage? Meatballs? Pepperoni? Bring it!
To honor my recovery, I made this Sausage-White Bean-Tomato soup this weekend:
Other than the sausage, it’s really quite low-fat and healthy – and totally easy to make.
First, you saute two chopped garlic cloves in some olive oil. Next, add two cans of these, including the juice:
I used a potato masher to mush them up, but you can just use a knife in the pot to cut them into small pieces.
Then you add two cans of these:
It would be better to use fresh white beans, but you need to soak them overnight in water, and The Zadge came up with this little recipe an hour before she ate it, so no time for the soaking. Hence, the canned beans. Now here comes the really good part - the sausage!! Just brown up about a pound of hot Italian sausage (out of the casings) and toss it in the pot with the tomato-bean mixture.
Then all you have to do is add some fresh oregano, salt and his friend pepper, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Then add a big bunch of arugula and let simmer for another 5 minutes.
Voila! That’s it!! Pour the soup into a big bowl, top with some shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and enjoy with a big hunk of crusty bread! Bon appetit!
(If you want to make a milder version of this soup, you can use mild sausage instead of hot, and spinach instead of the peppery arugula. And if you want to be really healthy, you can substitute chicken sausage for the real, bad boy sausage – but why would you want to?!)