Pupper Balks

So, after near balmy temps just a couple of weeks ago, today it was, well, frigid. So frigid, in fact, that Pupper (who has been reveling in the colder weather lately) balked at going outside this morning. He went out, pooped, and turned for home -- M nearly had to drag him to the end of the driveway to retrieve the papers. You know it's cold when even the dog with the thick, dark, curly hair doesn't want to be outside.

It was such a cold, miserable day, in fact, that I made this weekend's soup (chicken noodle with vegetables) a day early. Since last night's chicken, combined with the frozen turkey carcass from a couple months ago, made a lot of stock, I also decided to have a warm option for M's after school snack (the veggies and dip she's been having the rest of week feeling just a bit too chilly). So, for your after school, after work, after sledding, simply want something warm and comforting pleasure, The Pastor's Wife's Simple, Fast, Guaranteed-to-Warm-You-Up Soup of Love:

1 quart chicken stock (homemade is best, but at the very least it MUST be low- or non-fat and low salt)
1/2-lb mild (or hot -- your choice) Italian sausage
1 can white beans, drained
3/4 cup frozen chopped kale (or green of your choice)

Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a sauce pan. Meanwhile, roll sausage (remove from casing if you buy links) into 1/2" balls. When stock is simmering, drop in sausage balls and simmer until cooked through (about 8-10 minutes). When sausage is cooked through, add beans and kale and simmer for five minutes, covered.

Serve to your chilled loved ones with crackers or even a nice loaf of bread.

Hoping it's warm where you are.

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