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.
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.
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!