Addiction always; kale-sweet potato-cannellini bean-sausage soup

Soup so good it makes the bowl smile.
Soup so good it makes the bowl smile.

“It doesn’t matter whether the Addict is white, black, yellow or green, rich or poor or somewhere in the middle, the most famous Person on the Planet or the most unknown. It doesn’t matter whether the addiction is drugs, alcohol, crime, sex, shopping, food, gambling television, or the f**king Flinstones. The life of the Addict is always the same. There is no excitement, no glamour, no fun. There are no good times, there is no joy, there is no happiness. There is no future and no escape. There is only an obsession. An all-encompassing, fully enveloping, completely overwhelming obsession. To make light of it, brag about it, or revel in the mock glory of it is not in any way, shape or form related to its truth… “ A Million Little Pieces, James Frey, 2004

So I’m at the point where I’m doubtful that I can lose 20 pounds over the summer. I might be able to lose a few, but it will be painfully slow. Right now I weight 8 pounds less than I weighed at Christmas — a rapid-fire weight loss pace of about 4 ounces per week. Sigh.

And, truthfully, I don’t know that I’m willing to work any harder at it. Certainly, when I think about having to report to someone at either Weight Watchers or Overeaters Anonymous, my next thoughts are I don’t want to do that and I don’t NEED to do that. But I probably do if I can’t take dropping weight any more seriously than I have been.

But at least it’s not 8 pounds more, and even if my pace is glacial, I can still feel better by eating better. (And if I dropped 8 more, it would be 16 which is ALMOST 20. Rationalizing. Rationalizing.) Cutting sugar to almost nothing has been quickly amazing in that regard: We broke down and ate a frozen pizza this past Saturday night and both thought it was almost too sweet to eat. As in “Yuck, the salad on this plate is way better than the pizza.”

What we’re all aiming for, of course, is a lifestyle-without-end, the path to healthy eating and health.

Already, I have more energy, sleep better and am a little less achy. This soup makes me feel as though I could leap tall buildings with my spoon and bowl. I needed to use up kale (our refrigerator is too balmy inside) and found this recipe online. As always, I jiggered it about a bit.

For starters, I made only half but used almost the full amount of garlic (I used only 3 cloves but each was the size of a baby’s nose). I should have used 8 ounces of sausage but I had 12 to cook. I had exactly 8 ounces of kale but picked some more “mixed greens” from the garden. Soup recipes are “fluid” in at least 2 senses. Just keep tasting.

Sweet potato-sausage-kale-cannellini soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups chopped onion

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (not cayenne!)

6 garlic cloves, peeled, minced

1 pound sweet turkey sausage

8 cups peeled and diced sweet potato (a little over 2 pounds)

5 cups water

4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable)

16 ounces kale, washed and rinsed several times, drained and chopped, big stems removed

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

In large soup (stock) pot, saute onion in oil with 1/2 teaspoon salt, red pepper and garlic. Cook sausage and drain mixture if necessary.  Add sweet potatoes, water and broth. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer about 8 minutes. Add chopped kale, cook another 10 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and beans. Cook 5 minutes more. Makes 10 generous servings, 246 calories each.



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