Soup and Stories

I never liked the word stoup.

Rachael Ray made it up. Thicker than a soup but not quite a stew. But the more I make soups, the more I find myself calling them stoups. Because that’s exactly how I like my soup: a little thicker, a little heartier, a little more rustic.

I also like drizzling EVOO on top of my soup.

But if you think this post will be about Rachael Ray, you are wrong.

This post is going to be about three things: 1) a food writing seminar led by one of the nation’s best food writers: Molly O’Neill. 2) a recipe for Tuscan White Bean and Chicken Sausage Stoup. I mean Soup. And 3) more Boston marathon updates.

First, the food writing seminar: Cook ‘n’ Scribble are courses, lectures, and workshops led by best-selling author Molly O’Neill. The seminars are online and range from topics such as Food Memoir, Food Writing 101, and Food Blog U, and there are other events as well such as a Food Writing Master Class Retreat in upstate New York.

I have no connection at all with Cook ‘n’ Scribble, other than the fact that I know Molly because I used to intern for her (and my adobo recipe was featured in her latest cookbook!) but I just wanted to share this incredible opportunity with you guys if you are at all interested in the food writing. You’ll get the chance to participate in weekly workshops and conversations with some of the best names in the food world (check out the course descriptions) and polish your writing skills in an actual, structured eight-week class.

I myself have taken many journalism and writing classes, but none has been as fun, exciting, and memorable as my Food Writing class at Harvard. There is something about structure and homework (yes, I’m a nerd) that helped me develop discipline. I also met some amazing writers (my fellow students and guest speakers such as Calvin Trillin) who ingrained in me a deeper fascination with the literary food world.

I am not taking any Cook ‘n’ Scribble courses this semester because of a pesky thing called grad school that’s eating up a lot of my time (and money), but I might sign up for some individual lectures. If you have the time and resources to do so – lucky you – check it out now because classes fill quickly!

Now, let me get to the winter-warming soup…

I used some spicy Italian chicken sausage, which added a lot of flavor and extra goodness to the stoup. Soup!

I was inspired by Meghan’s Chicken Sausage Cassoulet on  but I didn’t have time to soak beans overnight so I turned to my trusty Cook’s Illustrated cookbook for the Quick Tuscan White Bean Soup recipe, then combined that with Meghan’s and came up with this:

Tuscan White Bean and Chicken Sausage Soup

(recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated and Travel, Wine, and Dine)

2 cans (15 oz each) cannellini beans
1 pack chicken sausage, sliced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken stock
1 pack mushrooms
3 cups carrots, chopped
1 sprig rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
balsamic vinegar and olive oil, for serving

In a Dutch oven, cook onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add beans, chicken stock, carrots, chicken sausage, and rosemary. Simmer for about 45 minutes. Remove the rosemary sprig and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

(Or forget to drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar before taking blog photo).

And last but not least, my latest Boston marathon news:

I had to make a very difficult decision a few days ago, but I have decided to drop out of the marathon…

I wanted to run the marathon for my sister and my family, but now I actually have an opportunity to spend time with my family again. My parents are attending a conference on disability and families with disabled children in Europe, and they are taking my two sisters with them and have asked me to come along. It coincides with the week of the marathon and as much as I want to fulfill my dreams of running Boston, I don’t know when else I will get the chance to visit Europe with my entire family – while I know that the marathon will be there year after year. While I am very disappointed that I won’t be able to run with Team Perkins this year, spending time with my family is my priority.

Please know that I truly appreciate your support and all the words of encouragement! Of course all the money that I have raised will still go to Perkins School for the Blind. I know that I will have other chances to support Perkins in the future, so I’m looking forward to other events this year.

That’s it for now :)

Oh and on another note, have you ever heard of choup?


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