We are experiencing a slow start to winter this year or perhaps my little bun in the oven has been keeping me warm. Once the cold wind kicked in though, there was no turning back. It was cold and chilly. Rugs, boots, electric blankets and comfort food makes it debut.
When I made this soup, my family has not arrived from Singapore yet. It's something I believe my mum would enjoy, but probably not my grandmother or dad who would prefer a traditional chinese meal. A friend asked me, but won't your family become sick of eating chinese all the time? Surely variety from other cuisines are welcomed? Ask an Italian if he/she will ever be sick of having pasta, and you will probably receive a strange look. It's the same for most traditional families, a bowl of rice will never go down badly. Growing up, rice represents money. A hard working family who has a stable income will be able to provide a stable meal on the table which will consists of soup, meat, vegetables and rice.
Being exposed to a different culture and way of life in my late teens has opened my eyes to what a meal can be like. A simple soup like this fills up, heartwarming and easy. I love the use of italian sausages- with the skin removed, and meat browned to provide a dept in flavour. The kale added texture and of course- a much needed boost of vitamins and nutrients. I had some organic shell pasta on hand and placed a handful of it in there. The result was a clear but fulfilling broth.
I chose to embrace both sides. The days that we have variety, but also the traditional side. My immediate family is now with us, and I feel a sense of warmth. After all, I have not lived with them for a long period of time since I was a teenager. My kitchen has a familiar vinegar smell- one associated with confinement food. My cantonese has miraculously improved as my TV played countless TVB (Hong Kong) drama shows that my mum brought over.
It could be a while since I could make such dishes, but it's ok. I made sure I made plenty of it while I am on leave. Now, it's chinese all the way at home for the next few months. I will be taking lessons while I can!
We are waiting for our little bundle. Yes, he is taking his time to arrive but I am sure the wait is worth it.
Italian Sausage Kale and Pasta Soup (serves 4)
3 Italian sausage- skin removed.
1 red onion
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 bunch of kale washed and trimmed
Around 100 grams of pasta shells
2 tsp of chill flakes
2 litres of chicken stock
around 250 ml of water
Brown chopped onion and garlic. Add in sausage meat and cook throughly with pepper and chill flakes. Pour in stock and water and simmer. When it starts boiling, add pasta. After 3-4 minutes, blanched kale in it. Taste and season accordingly. Serve hot!