Thursday, December 31, 2009

Twelve Days: Matinee Idol

While it may seem like everything my family does revolves around food, it's simply not true. In fact, to prove it, let me explain why's yesterday's post hasn't posted until today.

We went to a show, a matinee actually, at Light Opera Works in Evanston. We saw Pirates of Penzance with its swashbuckling pirates, lovely ladies, bumbling constables, and modern major general. When Thor was four, we played for him the major general's briskly sung anthem and he loved it. He would run laps around our living coffee table and asked for it as the "runaround" song. For two hours, he sat on my lap enraptured by the performance (well, except during the kissy scenes).

We returned home only a little before dinner. With company coming for New Year's Eve, writing a post was not in my future.

Thankfully, I've rediscovered a cookbook from my vast collection, Maryana Vollstedt's The Big Book of Soups & Stews, which made short work of dinner. Prepped within 10 minutes time using almost exclusively local ingredients, I even had time to make some cheese biscuits to pair with it.

Sausage, Corn, and Tomato Soup
Adapted from The Big Book of Soups and Stews
Serves 4

1/2 pound bulk pork sausage
1/4 medium yellow onion, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups whole tomatoes, smashed with juice
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/4 cup corn kernels
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Cook the sausage in a Dutch oven, breaking it up with a spoon, until the sausage is no longer pink. Add the onion, red pepper, celery, and garlic and cook stirring occasionally about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, corn, salt, and pepper to taste. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

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