I was picking up filet mignons at Bristol Farms to make a Valentines dinner for She Who Must Be Obeyed, and I just had to get a few of their Italian sausages since I was there.  Yesterday I started working on recipe options for the sausage.  Having gone through the usual pasta selections, and not needing any more pasta on my belly right now, I decided a good compromise would be to splurge on the sausage but go light on the rest of the ingredients.  So soup it is.  I hit my cookbook library and found nothing with Italian sausage.  However, I found tons of white bean soup recipes. The easy recipe that follows originates in every recipe for white bean soup and goes wild from there.  I used hot Italian sausage, but could have used sweet Italian sausage with equally delicious results. Enough talk, let’s make an easy family meal or great dish for company.

Serves 4 as main dish. 



1 lb. Italian Sausage

1 14.5 oz can Beef Broth (fat free)

14 oz water (use the beef broth can) 

1/2 C Pale Dry Sherry

2 15oz cans Cannellini Beans (white beans) 

1/2 Green Bell Pepper – diced

1 Medium Onion – diced

1 Celery Rib – sliced down middle and diced

1 Bay Leaf (remove before serving)

1/3 Tbsp Oregano (dried)

2 Tbsp Fresh Basil – chopped

4 Mushrooms – sliced

2 Cloves Garlic

1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

Blue Stilton Cheese – grated – as topping for soup

Whole Fresh Basil leaves for garnish


Brown the sausage in a large fry pan. When browned, drain most of the grease and then remove sausage to a large pot.  To the remaining grease in fry pan add onion, pepper, celery, garlic, and saute’ for few minutes to soften.

Add the saute’d items to the sausage, add chopped basil, beef broth, Sherry, water, bay leaf, brown sugar, mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste, and bring mixture to boil while stiring frequently.  Reduce to strong simmer for twenty minutes.

Rinse the white beans to remove the packing juice and then place beans in the simmering soup. Raise the heat to bring to boil, stir and reduce heat to strong simmer.  When beans are soft (maybe 15 to 20 minutes) the dish is ready to serve.

After placing a serving in soup bowl, top with a little Blue Stilton cheese and garnish with a basil leaf.

There you go, with very little effort or cost you just made a wonderful easy home cooked soup that looks something like this  (Sorry about the ring on the bowl – Now I know it’s best to plate at the camera rather than carry  bowl to the camera.)


This is not a sponsored story, it just happens to be true.

Over the past three weeks I have had nothing but trouble with my office computer and my computer at home.  The office computer got a nasty virus and had to go the tech ICU for some serious treatment. That meant using back up computers at the office, but since the server was fine life went on

Over the past month the home computer has been getting slower, and prone to locking up. I know my youngest son does some gaming on it, so I would occasionally reboot and chalk the problem up to the computer being overworked.       

In the past I wrote a screenplay on the home computer with the work being housed in an offsite cloud. The system worked fine, but I wanted a few more bells and whistles. I bought a tremendous screenplay writing program  which is loaded into and operated solely from my computer. 

Over the years I had heard radio personalities predicting dire consequences if the listener did not have automatic backup through Carbonite. It never really resonated because the office network is repetitive, if my computer dies I just go to another one, all information is accessible there except for e-mail.

Last week I was working at my home computer, the story was flowing easly from my mind into the computer. I came to a point in the action where I needed to research a certain assualt rifle.  So, I saved my work, went on the internet found the information I needed and as I was returning to my computer the system froze. I rebooted and continued working. But, in the back of my mind I heard the radio announcer’s dire prediction that every computer crashes eventually. So, I took the bait and logged back onto the Internet, found Carbonite, and signed up for the free trial offer.

Just as advertised Carbonite retrieved my files while I was on the Internet.  I didn’t even know it was happening. They sent me an e-mail saying they had everything stored and why not subscribe now. Why not?  I don’t know, where do the files go?  I logged into my Carbonite account and poked around, sure enough everything was there.  Cool.  I  decided to subscribe before the free trial period was over so I wouldn’t forget.

So, yesterday I had big plans to maybe finish the screenplay, my outline was solid, and my mind had great ideas for filling in the story. But, when I fired up my computer it told me there were updates ready for installation.  I had learned from my office adventure that installing updates is important for avoiding viruses, so I decided to run the updates first thing. One hour and 25 minutes later my computer was frozen in mid update. It’s still frozen, in fact it may be dead it’s hard to tell with an untrained eye. Had this happend a week ago you likely would have heard my screaming from one end of California to the other.  But no biggy.  I got out a laptop logged into Cabonite and low and behold there was my screenplay.  It worked.  Sweet.                            

Well that’s my computer disaster story, while enjoying your white bean and sausage soup how about sharing your computer disaster stories. Oh, and do yourself a favor, figure out a good way to back up because someday your computer is going to crash .

Good Eating and Table Talk,



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