[Smashy the Hammer] [An Aspiring Luddite]
I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
[Jeff Berry]
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook. With the death of Google+, he's experimenting with federated platforms. He admins a medievalist Mastodon instance, and can found on the PlusPora diaspora pod. He hates cell-phones.

Soup, (De)Constructed
2 May 2013

Here's the problem with sausage, especially bulk sausage, in soup: as it cooks, it breaks down and gives a lot of delicious flavour to the soup, but when it's done, it has no flavour of its own left and is just a sort of meat-textured blank slate.

There are a couple of ways to deal with this problem. First, of course, you could just not worry about it - after all, you've got lovely, lovely broth as a result. Second, you could use a really firm, link sausage - which means you don't get as much flavor in the broth, and links in soup are sometimes aesthetically not quite spot-on.

Or, you can do something like this: make the broth and flavor it well and truly from some other source, then cook your sausage separately and add it more or less at the end.

Using that last method defeats one of the points of soup - prepping it and then letting it go and ignoring it - but it can sometimes be worth the effort. Especially if you decide to go whole hog, so to speak, and cook some of your other ingredients outside the soup-pot as well. The result is a soup which, if it lacks some of the depth that a long-simmered soup may have, compensates for that lack by having a surprising burst of flavors and textures which are often difficult to achieve in a soup.

It's also loads faster ...

As a foundation, I think something in a sturdy root vegetable is a good start. I used parsnips, but potatoes or carrots or such like would do just fine. Parsnips, to me, always have a bit of cinnamon flavour, so I decided to use ginger as the main flavorant of the broth. If you use something else, you might want to alter the spicing. [Lots of pictures]

Soup, (De)Constructed

Dice your parsnips and put them in a pot, crock pot is fine, with enough water to cover and then a bit more. Add the ginger, or whatever else you decided to use and set it to simmer.

After a half hour or more, depending on how you cut your parsnips and how mushy you want them, begin preparing the vegetables for the next step. Dice or slice the onion and the leek and put them in a hottish skillet with a bit of olive oil. Cook them for a while, stirring often. You'd like them to get soft, and a little color on them would be no bad thing.

Push the vegetables to the side of the skillet to make a well. Put your sausage in there and let it brown for a minute or two, then mix everything together and let them cook down for a while. You want to make sure that your sausage is cooked all the way through before serving.

Ladle some of the parsnips and broth into each bowl. Top with some of the vegetables and sausage and serve. Let folks add whatever they prefer on top.

This is pretty complete by itself, but a salad or some toast on the side might add to the overall effect.

© 2013 Jeff Berry
The Aspiring Luddite