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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Soup of the week…Chou vert Frisé (Cabbage) with Artichoke, Giant White Bean and Sausage Soup

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Even though I am just cooking for two, I love to make a big pot of soup every week. I purposefully make enough to last for one dinner and several lunches. This way I am not cooking every day but have something easy and delicious for us to eat and in the winter I could eat soup everyday . Planned laziness…gotta love it!
This recipe is adapted from “Tuscan Kale Soup with Artichoke and Chicken Sausage”  found on Taste With The Eyes blog that I  follow.  Artichokes are one of my very favorite vegetables so this immediately attracted me to this recipe. While familiarizing myself with the different foods available at our local Carrefour (French version of a Walmart Super Store) I found large bags of frozen artichoke hearts. Very exciting (for me at least)!  I have yet to be able to find kale so I am using Chou Vert Frisé  (curly leaf green cabbage) that is available here during the winter months.  I added some leftover giant white beans I cooked for another meal to this but I have also made it without them.

Ingredients:

1 small head of Chou Vert Frisé (curly leaf green cabbage) or kale
1 lb. ( 500kg) Toulouse sausage (mild sausage)
1 med. onion diced
1 tsp. fennel seed (crushed)
2 red chili peppers finely chopped or 1 tsp. chili flakes
6-8 frozen artichoke hearts (sliced)
1/2 of a lemon
3 quarts chicken stock

Method:

  • Wash cabbage leaves and drain. Remove tough middle stem from leaves and cut into 1-2 inch pieces. Do not worry if they seem too big the cabbage will cook down.  I used about one heaping colander full of torn cabbage leaves for my soup. 
  • Remove sausage from casings and crumble into bite size pieces while browning in a large stock pot. When sausage is done remove and drain in a bowl lined with paper towels.
  • While this is cooking crush fennel seed in a mortar and pestle.
  • Remove excess grease from pot and in same pot Add onion, garlic, chili and crushed fennel and sauté until onion is translucent but not brown.
  • If using frozen artichoke heart. Thaw before hand, then slice. Squeeze juice from 1/2 a lemon over the artichoke hearts, add zest if desired
  • Return browned sausage to pot. Add artichoke hearts, chicken broth and cabbage leaves to pot.
  • Continue cooking stirring occasionally 30 minutes or until  cabbage and artichoke hearts are tender. Adjust seasoning as necessary adding salt and pepper.
Serve with fresh bread and cheese or try a little grated parmesan cheese on top.
Yields: 6+ adult size servings

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