Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ugly Delicious

Recently one of my friends told me that my photos were really improving on this blog, which made me happy because I spend considerable time trying to get a decent picture and sometimes eat a cold dinner as a result. But I have to say, some foods just aren't photogenic. They're like that awkward 12-year-old with braces and a nose that grew faster than the rest of their face. Sure they have redeeming qualities, but looks ain't one of 'em.

For example, this sausage and bean soup is really delicious. It's warm and comforting and a little bit spicy because of the sausage and red pepper flakes. There was a hint of cheesy flavor from the rind of romano cheese that cooked with the broth--which had a lot of flavor because of the vegetables and the white wine used to deglaze the pan.

Maybe if I had a photographer from one of the glossy food magazines and some awesome rustic looking bowl to serve it in, this soup could look beautiful. Perhaps it's just an ugly duckling. But I don't want to be shallow, not everything has to be pretty. There's room on my blog for ugly delicious food too.

And as a final pitch for this soup: Nic was totally hating on the idea when I told him what I was making. He wanted me to take out his portion of the sausage so he could eat it plain. The cabbage was his main problem. I have to give him credit, last time I used cabbage in a meal it WAS terrible. But I insisted it would taste good, and made him just suck it up and eat it. Yesterday, a day after the soup was made and eaten, he told me out of the blue, "You know that soup really was good." I win.

Sausage and Bean Soup

6 Italian hot sausages, casings removed and cubed
1 huge leek (or 2 regular leeks), white part only, sliced thin
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
2 carrots, chopped roughly
2 celery stalks, chopped
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 head of cabbage, sliced thin
2 cans navy or cannelloni beans, drained
1 bay leave
scrubbed rind from parmesan or romano cheese
pinch red pepper flakes

-Cook Italian sausage over medium-high heat in a large sauce pan. Remove the sausage from the pan when cooked through, leaving rendered fat. Cook the leeks, onion and garlic in the same pan over medium heat until translucent. (Add a little olive oil if necessary.) Add carrots and celery and cook until the vegetables start to soften. There should be some browning on the bottom of the pan.
-Use white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom to release the brown bits. Add cabbage, beans and bay leave and cover with water by about one inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and add the cooked sausage.
-Simmer for about 30 minutes, then taste. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Continue to cook for up to 30 minutes more or until the broth is flavorful and you're ready to eat.

So let me know about some ugly delicious food you make in the comments.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorry I haven't had a look recently but i have been overwhelmed with the campaign and totally addicted to the various websites: politico, cnn, npr, kpcc,, and now a new one, i took a quick look at this one and wondered if you might ever consider chorizo instead of italian sausage. i, of course, am no meat expert but everyone seems to love it and speak so highly of it that i have been considering trying it even. have you ever had it? aunt joh