About This Blog

This is, as the title indicates, my kitchen notebook (the header is actually a scanned image of the cover of a notebook that I started using about 25 years ago and the background is a stained page from that book). I am not a professional recipe writer. If you try any recipe here, please keep that in mind, these recipes have not been tested by an independent tester. The "recipes" are often not even really recipes but rather a list of ingredients that I've noted after preparing a dish on the fly that I thought came out well. Perhaps I've also added some instructions, but I rarely keep accurate track of what I've done in terms of time or temperature, I've just noted to the best of my memory (feeble) what I did.

Please feel free to take some inspiration from here, but on the other hand, please give credit where it is due. I also welcome any constructive comments that you might have if you are inspired to try a recipe. Questions are welcome, but keep in mind that I may not remember specifics. The dishes do evolve over time...

Thank you and enjoy!

Bean and Sausage Soup with Portuguese Cabbage

1 1/2 cups dry Runner Cannellini beans, presoaked
1 smoked ham hock
3 Dittmer’s Venison Andouille sausages, about 9 to 10 ounces
2 8-inch stalks of celery
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered through the root end
2 1/2 quarts cold water (part poultry stock)
3 medium new potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 large leaves portuguese cabbage, stems removed and cut into 1/4-inch by 2-inch shreds, about 6 loose cups
Salt and pepper to taste
Best quality extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Put the presoaked beans, ham hock, whole sausages, celery, carrots, onion wedges, and water into a stock pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down and simmer, partly covered, for an hour.

Remove the ham hock and sausages and set aside to cool. Remove and discard the vegetables (they are meant to just flavor the broth). Continue to simmer the beans until they are quite tender but not falling apart – this could take up to an hour longer. If you’re in a rush and the beans are still quite crunchy you can transfer them with half of the broth to a pressure cooker and cook under high pressure for 10 minutes and quick release the pressure. Transfer the beans and broth from the pressure cooker back to the stock pot. Remove the meat from the ham hock and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Slice the sausages into 1/4-inch slices.

When the beans are tender, add the cubed potatoes and shredded cabbage to the pot. Simmer about 15 minutes longer, or until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart. Add the ham and sausage to the pot and simmer a few minutes more. Season the soup with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Serve with a generous drizzle of your best extra virgin olive oil in each bowl.

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