Friday, December 14, 2007

Soup's on again

I've been worried about a friend. He's in my heart and on my mind. Good news: my upcoming trip to NY will allow me an opportunity to try and help (best case scenario) or if I can't at the least give me some closure to the situation (may be beyond help or at least mine).

Well so worry translated into making myself a comforting pot of soup. I know bad, bad, bad seeking comfort in food but hey it was soup not a donut right? This is a total Grandma soup. Grandma Soup = warm, comforting, full of flavor, lots going on (aka everything but the kitchen sink). I hope you enjoy it.

I used a combo of cannelini beans and a can of Tuscan Bean Medley which is a combo of cannellini beans and chestnut limas (Trader Joe's). If you don't have a TJ's near you could certainly just use all cannelini. I topped the soup with my favorite Italian cheese ever. It's actually Sicilian like me if you want to get specific. It's called Ricotta Salata. It's basically regular Ricotta cheese that has been dried with salt (think the Italian version of Feta cheese). My friends back East will have no problems locating this but us left coasters will have a little more difficulty. Try and find some. It's worth it. I promise. A good Italian food store will carry it. If they don't, they are NOT a good Italian food store. BTW.

Shelly's Italian Beef & Bean Soup

1 lb. Ground Beef (or Turkey)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 large Onion, chopped
2 Green Onions, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (Oregano, Basil, Marjoram)
2 15 oz cans of beans (I used a combo of cannelini and a Tuscan Bean Medley)
3 cups Beef Stock
1/2 cup Tomato Sauce
1 teaspoon Tomato Paste
1 cup frozen (or fresh) Spinach
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
3 ounces Ricotta Salata, crumbled (or use Parmesan)

Brown ground beef and drain any fats. Remove from pan and set aside. Saute onions in butter/oil and cook until golden about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and Italian Seasonings and stir to coat the onions. Let cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly so the seasonings will not burn. Add the beef, beans, stock, tomato sauce, paste and spinach. Add salt and pepper. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer gently, about 1/2 hour. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Garnish with crumbled Ricotta Salata (note: this is not the ricotta used in lasagna it is a harder/salty cheese) or shaved Parmesan.

I haven't updated my plastics recovery in awhile... I'm 8 weeks out from a Lower Body Lift, Breast Lift and Augmentation and Arm Lift. Week 6 was a huge turning point for me. I felt like a completely different person. I have more stamina and the swelling has gone waaaaaay down. I still get puffy at the end of the day on one side of my Lower Body Lift scar but not too bad. I'm sleeping with my binder on. It helps. I get random sharp pains which I'm told are nerve endings coming back. Whoa! they catch you by surprise and some take your breath away. The scars itch so bad sometimes I want throw myself off a cliff but I know that's a good healing sign. Overall, I'm amazed at how good I am after all that work only 8 weeks ago.

I already mentioned all the health issues that led me to get plastics have been resolved and now I'm really loving the physical results. I have a flat belly. I have better boobs then I had when I was 16! My arms well... I traded batwings for scary scars but hey you can't win them all. The scars will fade I'm sure but I'm still not comfortable with them. Yet. I'm working on it. This is an amazing physical journey but do not underestimate the emotional journey. Long after the scale reaches your magic number you will be dealing with your head.

Highlights of the day:

* Mmmm is there much better than a warm bowl of soup?

* I think I have everything I need for my NY trip. I bought the coolest UGG's the other day. Wanna see? I got the brown ones.

* I went to the jewelry store to resize a ring and get this I went from a size 10 ring to a 6 1/2 and the 1/2 is only because I have fat knuckles. My brother (he's 12 years older) taught me how to crack them when I was little. Dammit.

Listening to: "Ghost in you" The Psychedelic Furs


Lisa said...

*LOVE* the Psychedelic Furs. I am a bonafide 80's alternative music geeky fanatic!

Carole Tanzillo said...

It's a damp chilly night here in New York. Decided to make this soup - The whole family raved how delicious it was. I agree! I just hope they leave me enough for lunch tomorrow.

Thank you Shelly! <3

Anonymous said...

I made this soup tonight with a few modifications, I added 1/2lb of turkey sausage and accidently omitted the parmesan. I also made it in the crock pot after browning the onions and meat. Thank you so much it was amazing and my husband even ate it. I had to make sure I measured out some containers for freezing later. It's inexpensive too! Thank you thank you thank you!