Making it up.

The reason I can’t bake is that I find it impossible to follow a recipe. I know, it should be so easy, but precision is not my strong suit. I am much better at winging it. Eating a lot is a good way to be a good cook, because if you pay attention to what you eat, you can take those ideas and reproduce them in your own kitchen.

Last night was such a night. I have seen in several cookbooks or magazines recipes for soup with sausage, beans and greens, among other things. I like all of those ingredients, so I decided to give it a whirl. The best part of the whole experience was that my son was in the kitchen, watching me. He found the whole process intriguing, so he decided to help. I know this is not unusual for many eight year old kids, but my son is definitely on the eating, not cooking, side of food. It was truly lovely to have him try slicing the sausage (scary, though), seasoning the soup, and choosing the pasta. And miracle of all miracles, he actually said, “It is fun helping you cook.” 

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Here is how we made the soup: brown sliced sausage and garlic in some olive oil. I used chicken sausage because it is healthier. Throw in a can of rinsed cannellini beans. Pour in chicken broth until your pot is full. Add chopped kale and a handful of small pasta. You actually don’t need the pasta but my kids really like soup with pasta. Let it all simmer. Now this part is key: serve with grated parmesan cheese. It makes all the difference in the world.

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The weird thing about soup is that somehow my kids like things in soup that they would never eat in other forms. For example, Garrett hates all spinach or greens, but will eat about a head of kale in soup. I don’t know why, but it works. We all marveled at Garrett’s efforts, and enjoyed several bowls of soup.

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