In Memory of Ozzie
No one wants to talk about it. I guess I can’t blame them. It’s adifficult and painful subject.
You see a little over a week ago, we lost one of our feline familymembers. No – he wasn’t sick. In fact, there were signs that he had been playing with his favorite ball earlier that day. How did this happen? Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. That’s what the vet tells me. And with a cat that had no signs of the disease, it’s almost impossible to detect until it’s too late.
How do you deal with sudden death? No matter if it’s a pet or a human?
People deal with grief in different ways. Some people don’t deal with it all. How do you pick up the pieces and move on each day when it seems that you are frozen at one point in time? It’s not an easy task but it must done.
After 2 days, running 15 miles and with nothing more than a few bites of food (I do not condone this for anyone), I was feeling the toll – emotionally and physically. I’m not a stress eater. Eating is very difficult for me during times of extreme emotional stress. I know – I’m a dietitian, I know better. But I’m also human.
Cooking has always been a stress reliever for me. It allows me to focus on what I am doing at that moment and forget about things. Trying to return to some sort of normalcy, I needed to try and find comfort in doing something I enjoy. I wanted and needed to make something easy and something heart-warming – soup. This soup is virtually a no-brainer for me – I’ve made it a hundred times before – White Bean, Kale and Sausage Soup. I’ve also made some different variations – some times add pasta, some times make it vegetarian, but this time I just kept it basic.
This is about the time when I tell you all about the glorious nutrition found in that bowl of soup. While there really is a lot of good stuff going on in there, today I’m not going to. I won’t lie – this post was hard for me. I really didn’t want to write any sort of post at all. But I knew I had to. Grief is painful. And while I searched for some comfort in the bottom of my soup bowl, I knew I just really needed time.
So I hope that if you find yourself grieving, you can soon return to some sort of normalcy. In the meantime, have a bowl of soup and enjoy.
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 carrot, sliced into thin rounds
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 can of no salt added or low sodium white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 lb. bag Tuscan kale, stemmed removed and chopped
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 rind from parmesan block
- 2-3 links of turkey or chicken sausage
- 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- salt and pepper
- Cook sausage in 2 teaspoons olive oil until browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large stock pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Once hot, add onion. Cook a few minutes.
- Add carrot and garlic, cook a few more minutes until soft.
- Add thyme, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, and parmesan rind.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add kale and white beans and stir to combine.
- Add stock. Make sure all the kale is covered.
- Simmer on low for 30-60 minutes.
- Remove parmesan rind and bay leaf before serving.
I cut the rinds off the parmesan blocks I buy and freeze them. They add great flavor to soups, sauces and stews.
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Beautifully written Erin. I have found comfort in writing and also in a bowl of soup or Pastina. You see Nana made Pastina(you girls call it “white soup”, when I came home for school for lunch, or when I was not feeling well and Pop-pop made soup nearly every Saturday night that I can remember, throwing in beans, lentils, carrots, alphabet noodles, onion etc, etc, etc.
I think that is why to this day soup is always a welcome site and taste for me to come home to. Love you!