Caribbean Soup

Our days have been pretty hectic lately. September is a busy month, what with my step-daughter’s birthday, my wife’s birthday and then my mother’s birthday all occurring on sequential days (keeps thing easy to remember). And then there’s my mother-in-law’s birthday about a week later and my step-son’s birthday a week after that. Toss in some back-to-school nights, some travel baseball, and some flag-football practice, and our September days fill up quickly.

I usually do most of our grocery shopping (it’s an easy stop on the way home from work), Jamie ended up getting the protein for Wednesday’s dinner on her way from home on Tuesday. She was looking at the chicken sausage and decided that “Italian” was getting a little boring, so she settled on Teriyaki and Ginger. “Sounds good,” I thought when she told me. But then I paused… teriyaki and ginger chicken sausage… what do I do with that? (I figured a marinara sauce would be… odd)

Yes, I know. Stir-fry. But I made chicken and broccoli stir fry on Tuesday night (it’s one of our youngest boy’s faves), and we’re a decadent American family. Not only do we not eat the same food twice in a week, we don’t even like to eat the same method of preparation twice in a week, much less on back-to-back days. So on Wednesday, I stopped at the market and tried to decide how to prepare the sausage.

I know what you’re thinking. “If you had time to go the store, why not just buy something else? Take a flyer on some beef why don’tcha? Keep the teriyaki ginger sausage in it’s little hermetically sealed packaging until next Wednesday and whip up another stir fry!”

I did think of that. But by this point, I felt like one of the Iron Chef’s. “This week’s theme ingredient is Asian Chicken Sausage!” “Fukui-san! What’s he doing there?” “I… I’m not sure, I think he’s opening another beer… yes, yes, it’s another beer… I think it’s Hefeweizen.” “Hefeweizen! Fascinating! And he’ll what, use that to deglaze the pan?” “No, no, I think he’ll drink that one too!”

Ok.. so maybe more of a Brass Chef.

I was standing in the veggie section, trying desperately to imagine an alternate preparation for teriyaki and ginger flavored sausage. I was running through sausage recipes in my head… grilled sausage sandwiches, sausage pizza, sausage and potatoes with some sauerkraut, sausage soup… AHA! Sausage soup! But not Italianate… how about… Asiany/Caribbean?

In the end I decided on a Sausage/Coconut/Pineapple soup. It was very, very yummy. Very reminiscent of Tom Kha, but definitely not Tom Kha. Here’s my best guess as to the recipe, since I once again failed to take notes as I went along.

1 lb Teriyaki & Ginger Chicken Sausage, sliced into discs
1 cup fresh pineapple cut into chunks
2 cans coconut milk
1 tblspn fresh grated ginger
2 tbslpns minced garlic
2 tbspns coarsely chopped cilantro
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 tspn Thai fish sauce
1 tspn crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and black pepper to taste

I began by throughly browning all the sausage in a dutch oven. When the sausage was browned, I added the onion and let everything saute together for a few minutes. Next I added the ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper, cooked for a minute, and then deglazed the pan with some beer from my glass (white wine would work too, and water would do in a pinch) — just enough to deglaze the pan.

Next I added the pineapple and let everything simmer together for a few minutes.

Then I added both cans of coconut milk, the fish sauce, and the cilantro and brought the soup to a slow boil. Salt and pepper to taste.

I served it with Tostones.