drum roll please ...
Lori Prosser - With her life sustaining soup!gnocchi. A wonderful little Italian gem of a dumpling. I have a gnocchi class coming up in a few days that I am terribly excited about. There is quite an art to the making of good gnocchi, so if you're buying them, buy the best and freshest you can find! Lori stated, "The best gnocchi I've ever had was served as an appetizer in Milan. The waiter sauteed it in a skillet at the table. Served a bit crispy on the outside and melted in your mouth. I've never had it the same way since."
I was anxious to try this soup, as I had been feeling under the weather. Five ingredients and fifteen minutes later I was into a bowl pulsating with the heart of heaven! Sooo easy, sooo good. The first time Lori made it she didn't want her husband to know how easy it was. Of course, she wanted him to think it involved hours of slaving and simmering! It tastes like it does.
The recipe calls for hot turkey Italian sausage. "Really, it doesn't matter the sausage, it always turns out delicious," Lori says. I had plain ground turkey on hand and threw in two teaspoons of Cajun seasoning to give it a kick and one tablespoon Italian seasoning and it worked quite well! I would think even Kielbasa would go nicely, for the men.
Lori also changed the five ingredients to seven (as did I), by adding sliced mushrooms and chopped fresh spinach - just because they were on hand. I always double my recipes as well, something I've learned from my mother - cooking for a family of eight. For me, it provides leftovers for healthy work lunches and food to share with friends!
Not much time to leaf through a magazine, "Soup simmers in minutes."
- 1 (4.5-ounce) link hot turkey Italian sausage
- 2 cups water
- 1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi (along-side the dried pasta)
- 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, beef broth
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1.) Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until sausage is browned, stirring to crumble. Pepper to taste.
- 2.) Add 2 cups water and next 3 ingredients to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until gnocchi float to the top of pan. Ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle each serving with cheese.
Make it your own: Tear up a handful of fresh spinach, slice up some fresh mushrooms - toss in with other ingredients. Fresh garlic would go nicely as well.
Wine Pairing: Chateau Julien 2009 Barrel Select Merlot ($15)
Bert, 90 - Photo by Lawrence Syverud
- I texted my children one evening, recently, to tell them to look at the moon. It was glorious in it's crisp white shirt and as full as a baby's tummy after nursing. Huge on the horizon - I wanted to drive straight to it. The moon reminds me of soup. I'm not sure why ... the moon is the one thing that my children and I can look at, at the same time and be together, no matter where we all are in the world. That's comforting, like soup.
- Soup brings me back to the basics. After an active day - while chopping vegetables for soup, I pretend I'm my grandmother. Hair up, apron tied. Grandma whistled. I sing. When Ill, we instinctively go back to the basics, the beginning; humidifier, Vicks, soup. It sooths and comforts. We know It heals more than the sickness.
- What newer generations have not learned yet is that soup should always be eaten, not just when we have runny noses. The elderly know this, but they don't tell us. It's for us to discover on our own. The elderly aren't eating soup because the vegetables are soft with the liquid and goes down easy, they eat it frequently because of it's healing properties. It offers longevity. It sustains, helps one grow to 90.
- Tonight while preparing the soup, shaking the delicate rain of cayenne and basil into the broth of it, my daughter, Hannah, called and told me to look at the moon. I strained over the balcony of my third floor apartment in every direction except the one allowing me to view the splendor. She said it was blazing and glorious, but I could not see it. I returned to stirring my soup, and raised the wooden spoon to my lips and tasted the moon.
- Unsettled, I quickly slipped on my Uggs and raced down the flights of stairs that brought me to the back door and into the crisp air, and there is was! And we gazed at it, together. After two days of eating nothing but Lori's Healing Soup, I am on the mend. I feel strength returning, an uplifting of my soul. I am learning what Bert knew. I think I'll have soup tomorrow.
As the winner of this month's recipe contest, Lori will receive something homemade from my kitchen, just as soon as the bird takes flight to England. : )