You guys sure love a cliffhanger, don’t you!? After saying I’d be back with “big news” this week I’ve had to explain myself approximately ten bajillion times. Approximately.
What’s the big news? I’m going back to school! In like, one week. Not even “like” one week: ACTUALLY one week. I’m starting a six month intensive coding program, which means I’ll be upping my code game for 8 hours every day for the next six months. Uuuh see you in July? F’reals.
Clearly this is a significant change from being self-employed and on my own schedule for the last three years — something I’m both excited and anxious about. I really like setting my own schedule, and not leaving the house if I don’t want to. But I also know I do better with some structure in my life, which I’ve been severely lacking for a while now. Going to school means I’ll HAVE to ride my bike downtown everyday, rain or snow or sleet or shine, and be there at 8 am sharp. If you know me at all, you know being anywhere at 8 am sharp is really unlikely and unfortunate for everyone involved. Wish me luck.
Why am I doing this? As much as I love food blogging, I’m at a point in my life where I need a little more stability! I’ve been doing minimal coding work on the side for a while, but figure I should actually learn enough to be valuable, and have a marketable skill in case food blogging falls under the bus (which, if you’ve followed any full-time bloggers in the last 5 years, you know happens pretty regularly! The internet is a wild beast!). Food blogging is a dream job for me, and I fully intend to continue doing it, but I know I need to make sure I have another option.
What does this mean for The Kitchen Paper? I’m honestly not sure. I have every intention of posting at least 1x per week, preferably 2x, while I’m in school — but I also know that’s a lot of pressure to put on myself, and that my focus will be learning. My other priority will be completing work for clients for whom I’ve already agreed to develop recipes. So, here’s an apology in advance, just in case things go dark over here for a bit: I’m sorry, and I’ll be back. In the meantime, I’ll be here when I can and I’ll probably bore you to death with talk of computers and coding and languages you never even knew existed. Aren’t you excited!?!? Yeah, me too!
While we’re talking business, there’s another reason I might be extra-quiet in January: I’m joining the ladies at Prescribe Nutrition to try out their Prescribe 20 program — a twenty day program to kick off the new year on a healthy foot. If you want to check it out, watch the video here — if you want to join in, use my code “kitchenpaper” (not case-sensative) and get 20% off. The program starts on January 10th! I’ll let you know how it goes after I’m done, in case you want to join one later in the year, but it’d be fun to commiserate (I mean celebrate!) with you guys if you want to join in for this round! Let me know if you sign up!
Should we talk about soup? Yaassss! The manfriend and I went out to dinner with his family last weekend and the soup special was exactly this: tomato soup with sausage and fennel! Obviously we were both smitten and ordered it (in addition to our burgers, obvi). TASTY! I basically used my classic tomato soup recipe, but with a few notable swaps! If there was a comfort soup made for cold weather… this might just be it.
Have a lovely week, and a happy new year! xoxoPrint
Tomato Sausage Fennel Soup
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 2 quarts
- 1/2 lb spicy italian sausage
- 1/2 medium sized onion, chopped
- 1 head of fennel, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 30 oz. cans tomato puree* (or two quarts of tomato juice)
- 4 Tbsp flour
- 2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
- In a heavy pot over medium-high heat, cook the sausage. Use a spatula to break it into small pieces, and let some pieces darken significantly. Once the meat is cooked through, use a slotted spoon to remove the meat, leaving the grease in the pot.
- Lower the heat to medium, and add the onion and fennel to the pot. Cook, stirring ocassionally, until the fennel has softened (about 10 minutes).
- Add the bay leaf and tomato puree. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf, and blend the soup until smooth. Put through a fine mesh sieve or food mill.
- Rub flour and butter together into a smooth paste, and thin with a cup of the tomato mixture. Add to boiling soup and stir constantly.
- Boil for a couple of minutes to cook flour.
- Once the soup is thickened, add the salt, pepper, and sugar.
- Serve immediately, topped with fresh parmesan cheese and extra sausage, or store in an airtight container.
I used canned diced tomatoes and pureed them in the blender before starting.