Friday, September 14, 2012

Italian Sausage Soup for the Foot

When the weather starts to get cooler, I start wanting to make soup.  As much as I love soup I think of it as a cool weather food, much like pot roast and braised short ribs.  I will admit to ordering French Onion Soup in a restaurant even in the midst of summer - that's a soup I've yet to try to make.  Maybe this winter?

Last weekend, after the torrential rain, it got cooler than normal and I immediately decided to make one of our favorites: Italian Sausage Soup.  The recipe was given to me by a friend years ago and of course, I've adapted it to suit our tastes.  Though the original recipe calls for regular Italian sausage - and I did make it with that the first time - we found it to be greasier than we like.  So then I tried reduced fat Italian sausage but still, I felt like I had to make it the day before and let it sit overnight in the fridge so the fat would harden and I could pick it off the top.  Finally, I ended up trying Turkey Italian Sausage and even Mr. Don't Give Me Low Fat-Reduced Fat Anything Helen said it was the best version yet and so that is what I've stuck with over the years.  The recipe also calls for spinach to be added at the end but Mr. Helen doesn't like cooked spinach at all so what I do is make the soup and when I'm ready to ladle it out, I put baby spinach in the bottom of my bowl and stir it around and it wilts just right.    Here is my version:

Italian Sausage Soup
1 lb. Turkey Italian Sausage (~5-6 links) or if you can find it not in the casings, even better.
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 cup sliced carrots
    1 cup sliced celery

    2 tsp. dried basil or a couple T fresh chopped basil
    1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes with juice
    3 cans 99% fat free chicken broth
    1/3 cup orzo
    Optional: 10 oz. box of frozen spinach, thawed and water pressed out, or one 6 oz. bag baby spinach leaves.

Remove sausage from casings and put in a large soup pot. Brown sausage until all traces of pink are gone. Stir in onions, carrots, celery, parsley and basil. Saute for about 5 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add in orzo and cook another 10 minutes.  If using spinach, turn off the heat, stir it in just until wilted.

Makes 8 one-cup servings.
Per serving: 174 calories, 6g fat, 17g carbohydrate, 2.5g fiber, 15g protein


I had a bowl of this when I got home from the doctor and it was just the perfect combination of great flavor and comfort.

Foot Update!
On Monday, my foot started swelling up for no apparent reason.  It was sore along the outer edge too so I iced it and hobbled through the day.  By Tuesday, I couldn't wear normal shoes to work and I've been wearing flip flops ever since.  When I got to the doctor yesterday I told him that the situation was beyond what I could take anymore.  That I couldn't even think for the pain and that my exercise had gone to hell in a handbasket.  He examined my foot again and told me that due to the heel injury, I'd developed  Peroneus Tendinitis. Nothing to be done for that except ice/motrin and wait it out because tendons can be damaged by shots. Then he gave me two shots right on the side of my heel.  I did not cry or kick him but I did lay there gasping "Owww, owww, owww, owww."   Thankfully for the first couple of hours the whole foot was sort of numb and what a blessed relief that was.  Then the anesthesia that was mixed in the shot wore off and I swear I could feel my heart beat in my heel.  OY.  But the good news is that today my heel already feels different - more like bruised than injured and the bruised feeling seems directed towards the injection site.  I'm hoping, praying and crossing my fingers that this is going to do the trick and I can get my life back.

Have a great weekend!


19 comments:

  1. That soup looks great - easy as well, which has become an essential on my list. I'm with you and the Mister on the turkey italian sausage - definitely best of all options.

    Also - I made that red pepper/shallott/zucchini pie this week...OMG. The house smelled like a restaurant (a good one) as it cooked. Just awesome! Last piece for hub's lunch today.

    I so hope the shots get this foot malady turned around and headed to healing - you've had the patience of Job with it, but I know it's wearing thin. Great w/e to you!

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    1. You are correct Leslie, my patience has done worn out! Glad you enjoyed the pie - so easy and tasty, right?

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  2. My hubby loves soup in the winter and I am not a great soup maker. I think I can manage to make this one. The usual soup I do make is a cabbage soup with whatever veggies I have in the fridge at the time. I always add some barley, we love it! I may even try your soup recipe for tonight. I don't know what to cook anymore.

    I hope your foot feels better soon.

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    1. Katrin, I feel for you regarding not knowing what to cook. I'm so tired of menu planning I keep thinking I'm going to go on strike one week. But of course that would mean eating out an entire week - not the best idea for weight loss! This soup is easy and quick. I hope you do give it a try.

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  3. I feel your pain Helen - I found the shot in my toe to be very painful! I hope the shots help and you get your active life back real soon.

    You know I'm going to be making that soup real soon - we have a lot of the same taste in foods. I always buy turkey Italian sausages - we just can't tolerate the full fat stuff any more.

    Happy Healing to you - hope you have a pain free weekend. Hugs. :)

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    1. Hope you guys enjoy the soup as much as we do!

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  4. I did something similar to your tendonitis, by hobbling around when my ankle was healing from surgery. Talk about adding insult to injury!!! Luckily, that rest/ice/motrin thing did work pretty quickly. Glad you got the shots and I hope they keep you pain-free now, while the PF heals. I know exactly what you mean about getting your life back - it sucks to be stopped, physically. We do enough of that mentally...

    Soup sounds good!

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    1. I had forgotten about you doing that but I remember now that you mention it. I am so done with being stopped and ready to move it move it!

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  5. Thanks for the soup recipe! I can't have too many of them. I just subscribed via email - I feel so technical!

    Hope you have an awesome weekend! Hugs!

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    1. Look at you being all technologically fancy lol!

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  6. I am glad you got the shots. I bet each day you will feel better and better!

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  7. I am SO making that soup when it cools off! It has gotten quite warm again!

    Here's to the end of your foot problems!!

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  8. I have to make the pie before I get to the soup!

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  9. ouch! That soup looks good...Hope your heel feels better. My back was tweeked from doing wrist locks and arm bars. I am still trying to find a way to pop it back into place. Hope you heal soon.

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  10. First of all: love the new lay-out. It's bright and fresh.

    Girl, I can't tell you how much I feel for you and your foot. This is taking up so much of your time and energy. I keep my fingers crossed here too that it will heal soon now and you have your life back.

    Soup looks good, we eat soup all year round. Especially R. likes soup very much.

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  11. checking back in on the FLIP SIDE.
    hows the foot-swelling now?!

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  12. I have a few sausage soup recipes I like. So glad soup season is just about here!

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