Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Italian Sausage Sick Day Soup



Pandora Station: Porcupine Tree

Today, is another boyfriend-less, roommate-less, school-less day off of work. And today, I am sick.

My throat has decided to catch itself on fire, close up, and itch like crazy. This has caused me to cough until I choke multiple times already. My body has also decided that it quits. In fact, I'm pretty sure the amount that it's aching is a signal, warning me that the end is near. I started feeling sick early yesterday morning, and unfortunately found it too short notice to get anyone to go into work for me, so I pushed myself through a grueling night shift, where eventually I left an hour and a half early. They weren't going to let me leave-- they needed me. But I couldn't stay. I can't even imagine the chaos and drama that would ensue had I passed out in the front lobby of Starbucks, my green apron sailing down with me, like a surrendering white flag.

So I guess, in a way, it's lucky that I don't have work today. It sucks that I have to be a hot mess of sick on my day off, but at least I'm not missing work for it. The worst part is not being able to do anything at all. I don't handle boredom well. And boredom is a lot more miserable when you're home alone, sick, hungry, and practically immobile. It has been a long time since I was last this sick. In fact, the last time I was this ill, I was dating a girl, whose motherly instincts kicked in at the first sign of my illness. She made me food, helped me shower and dress, even set me up in front of the tv where I (reluctantly...) watched an entire season of Gilmore Girls. 

This time, I don't have that. I'm being forced to be a real adult and battle this bug alone. I was up at 6 AM this morning, unable to sleep because of the aching throat and body pains. It was then that I realized that it was raining, I was sick, and I was alone. I decided that it would be a good idea to haul out the crock pot again and make some soup for myself. I spent a few more hours in and out of consciousness, while I tried to find the strength to crawl out of bed and sink downstairs, where I could be a gelatinous puddle of sick downstairs with all of the dogs, rather than being a gelatinous puddle of sick upstairs by myself. I wrestled with the idea of making soup during those few hours, and eventually decided that I needed to do it and that I needed to get my ass up. Finally, with a little of my own momentum, and gravity, I was able to pull myself out of bed.

Now if I was going to make soup, I needed a few things from the store. This would be a challenge. Should I put on real clothes? Were pants necessary for this type of outing? I mean, it's raining and I'm sick. Would anyone really notice of judge me if they saw me at the grocery store in my neon purple plaid jammies and my giant black hoodie covered in pitbull fur? I spent entirely too long with this thought. In the end, I opted not to draw more attention to myself and my illness, as it may cause people around me to take extreme measures to avoid me, and this could become very inconvenient for me. I threw on some jeans and a hoodie with slightly less dog hair, and I pulled my rat nest of a mane out of my face. I also decided that last night's make up was perfectly acceptable (When I returned home, I realized that it was not). 

So, let me break this down for you in list form to make it a little easier:

Step 1: Find will to get up and out of bed. CHECK.

Step 2: Put on pants. CHECK.

Step 3: Shoes may also be a good idea. CHECK. (I actually forgot them initially and had to run back inside...)

Step 4: Go out into the world to purchase soup ingredients. CHECK.

Before I go on, can I just mention how completely confusing the pasta aisle is for me? I can never decide what kind of pasta I want....there are wayyyy too many options. Someone needs to get on those italians...
Step 5: Make soup. Throw it in the pot and take a nap or watch West Wing.

Step 6: Eat delicious, delicious soup and feel a billion times better...hopefully...

Without further ado, I give you, Italian Sausage Sick Day Soup:

(recipe adapted from allrecipes)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Italian seasoned ground turkey(Jennie-O is the best!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups dry red wine
  • 3 (14.5 oz) cans beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 (16 ounce) package rainbow rotini pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large pot, cook sausage over medium heat until brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Drain fat from pan, reserving 3 tablespoons.
  2. Cook garlic and onion in reserved fat for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, wine, broth, basil, and oregano. Transfer to a slow cooker, and stir in sausage, zucchini, bell pepper, and parsley.
  3. Cover, and cook on Low for 4 to 6 hours.
  4. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain water, and add pasta to the slow cooker. Simmer for a few minutes, and season with salt and pepper before serving.


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