Soup & Soccer

Right now there are two things, other than politics, that are completely taking over my life. College and soccer. We'll talk about college another day and I really don't want to talk much about soccer either... except, except I want your opinion about the dick move my daughter's soccer coach made last night at practice.

*Nancy is #14. She's my little pit bull in lipstick (eye roll)

Let's recap.... Nancy plays on a traveling competitive under 12 soccer team. Her coach doesn't believe in.... wait for it.... running... in soccer... whatever, another eye roll. The only reason she didn't quit the team is because there is an awesome assistant coach who will take over the team next year. So basically, we are biding our time until he quits. Now Coach E is between 55-65 years old, doesn't have anyone on the team that's a relative (which is a little creepy) and has never played soccer in his life. Ahh yes, he's book taught... in soccer. He has no tact and doesn't get how to handle 10-12 year old girls. Let's recap how Nancy is as a soccer player. When she comes to practice she's serious and practices hard, hates when people goof off, wants to play and have fun, wants to win because winning is fun. It's kind of scary to have a 10 year old who is this serious about a sport. She isn't the fastest runner and most girls are a head taller than her but she has amazing foot work and isn't afraid to throw some elbows or go head-to-head with someone a foot taller than her.

On Saturday, Nancy screwed up. She passed the ball to her goalie, so her goalie could give it a good kick up field. The pass was bad, and it hit off the goal post, then the opposing team followed through and scored a goal. The score was now 1 to nothing. When Nancy came off the field during the half, she was upset. She knew she let her teammates down and her coaches. Long story short, she knew she fucked up. During the next half, she scored a goal. Score is now 1-1 and it stayed that way for the rest of the game, so the game ended in a tie. You would think she made up for her mistake, right?

Fast forward to practice last night..... Coach E says something along the lines of, "Well, we scored two goals in that last game blah, blah, blah." Trying to be snarky but literally made Nancy cry. She was bawling, she knew she screwed up and let everyone down and he just pushed that knife in her back a little deeper. The dude offered no constructive criticism, if he did, I wouldn't even be writing about this. After coaching her for two years, he should know her temperament, right? Was he pissed his star player made an error? It was down right cruel... so what would you do? Because right now, I can't even type it because I think written threats are illegal, aren't they?

So, what does this have to do with soup? I made soup for the first day of fall and I thought since it has been cooling off rather nicely at night I'd make this soup and we'd have a nice comforting dinner after soccer practice. But noooooooo, instead of eating this nice, spicy, filling but not to filling soup I was thinking of ways to disembowel Coach E with just my potato ricer, chopstick and a spoon.
In short on top of making Nancy feel terrible, he ruined my dinner. Not. Good.

Portuguese Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup:
(courtesy of Bon Appetit from an issue in 2007)

3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 10-to-11 ounce fully cooked smoked Portuguese linguica cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 medium onions, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 pound white-skinned potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick slices ( wouldn't it have been easier to say cubed, Bon Appetit?)
6 cups chicken stock
1 9-ounce bag fresh spinach

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy large pot over medium high heat. Add sausage; cook until brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to paper towels to drain. Add onions and garlic to pot and cook until translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add all potatoes and cook until beginning to soften, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Add broth; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Using potato masher, mash some of the potatoes in pot. Add browned sausage to soup. Stir in spinach and simmer just until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among warmed bowls and serve.

Tasting Notes: I posted about this soup back in December 2007 before I had any readers or a digital camera. This soup is so good I felt that it needed to posted again because it is that good. The broth is spicy from the linguica, onions and garlic and the potatoes give it a little bit of heft to make it filling and the spinach makes you feel healthy! Perfect for fall.


Tanya said...

The coach sounds like a jerk. If I were you, I'd be upset as well just because he made a little girl cry. Tell him to bend over so you can use his ass as a goal for the next game. :)

Have you ever seen the cartoon Home Movies? One of the characters is an elementary school soccer coach named Jon McGuirk. He is so inappropriate, but it's hilarious. Here's a YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMyAlb9Jo5I.

Krysta said...

*tanya... love home movies.... and sometimes nancy's coach is just like him! thanks for the link.

Mental P Mama said...

Ohhhh we had pork tenderloin to celebrate the first day of Fall. I would have a face to face with this wanna be coach, and then go to the league President. You do not need a child turned off from a sport that she is such a talent in...many colleges give amazing scholarships...

Cheryl said...

The coach is an asshole, kick him in the crotch for me! The stew looks yummy tho!

Cheryl said...

The coach is an asshole, kick him in the crotch for me! The stew looks yummy tho!

Cheryl said...

The coach is an asshole, kick him in the crotch for me! The stew looks yummy tho!

melissa said...

I was totally thinking of McGuirk. But McGuirk is hilarious, unlike Nancy's coach, Douchy McAsshat.

I never know what kind of advice to give in these things, not having children, because my first response is unbridled fury. How dare he.

And yes, they should have just said "cubed." How odd.

Antonio Tahhan said...

what an effing horrible coach!! hopefully the assistant coach will take over soon!! The soup looks fantastic and I can't wait to hear about the coaches reaction when your daughter kicks butt in her next game :)

ntsc said...

"Fava beans and a nice Chianti go well with liver." H. Lector

Snooty Primadona said...

Having been through soccer for a good 15 years with our daughter, I can assure you that I know what you're feeling. Our daughter did club soccer all the way through senior year and varsity soccer for 4 years of high school. We had our share of bad coaches too. Mr. Snooty finally became president of the club so he could have some say.

The worst one we had was the school varsity coach who never did anything. Those girls coached themselves and took state their senior year. Of course, he took the credit.

What kind of moron would not understand that girls between 10 and 13 are emotional messes anyway? I'd say give him The Bonehead Award at the end of the season, lol. Or is that The Asshole Award?

All you can really do is tell him you're going to fry him up real nice if he behaves like that and makes a child cry again. With a smile & a wink, of course. And wait for the great coach next year.

It never ceases to amaze me how adults can ruin sports for kids at the age of a turning point for them.

That stupid varsity coach is STILL there, 5 years after our daughter was there and they haven't even gotten close to getting state since then, lol. I've been secretly pleased, but sorry for those girls who played under his non-existent coaching.

cook eat FRET said...

this soup sounds wonderful - and i love the last photo! i could never be too mad to enjoy this dinner... excellent!

sorry you had a rough one - it must be hard to deal with things like that. especially when it's your kid.

noble pig said...

Okay, soup good...coach not so good. Look the potato ho's will get to together and make him into mashed potaotes K?

I've heard so many stories like this in competitive soccer it freaks me out. Why are the coaches such jerks...you need to tell him how you feel.

Jack said...

Beautiful soup!
I had some of the worst coaches in my adolesence. Probably explains why I'm a better cook than athlete!
All things must pass!

Kristin said...

Did she cry in FRONT of him? Because female tears almost always turn any man into an aplogetic, freaked-out slave. In my experience.

That said, fuck that coach. Seriously. And sorry if the language offends, but coaches occupy a very important authority role when kids (or even teenagers) are young, and the disapproval of an authority figure can be devastating.

You tell Nancy to keep kicking ass, because girls' soccer rules. And has she learned to slide-tackle yet? If only I were in California, I would totally teach her. Then she could take that asshole out at the feet. And that hurts when you're 60. :-)

jennyonthespot said...

What a nit. Ya gonna give him a piece of your mind, because... Oh. My. Gosh. If you do, tell him you got an online posse that'll make sure he never slips up again. Rotten man.

Uh. The soup looks fabulous, though :)

Mayberry Magpie said...

Soup good, coach very bad. Very, very bad.

Mr. Mom coaches tennis. And he's very good at. Why? Because the first thing that always, always, always comes out of his mouth is praise. He believes if you offer praise, little ears will open and then they can hear constructive advice. Scream or offer criticism, and little ears close and they'll never hear another word you'll say.

It works for parenting too, but it's a hard lesson to learn. I guess that's why there are so many bad coaches out there.

Fishin' Mama said...

I know exactly how you feel and what you are going thru...my daughter played travel softball and volleyball for several years. For softball she was their star pitcher...talk about pressure! Most of her coaches were awesome, but one was a total asshole that constantly pressured her. I just had to talk her thru all the bullshit. She is one tough girl now...doesn't take shit from no one (she is 24)

Stacey Snacks said...

I made this soup last year too.
It was simple and hearty.
The boys loved it (figures....no truffle oil in it!).
I used kielbasa instead of the linguica. It was delish.


Grace said...

"I was thinking of ways to disembowel Coach E with just my potato ricer, chopstick and a spoon."
ooh, how i laughed. he deserves that, at the very least. :) shame on him for all of his sins, especially ruining your dinner.

KitchenKiki said...

uggh. What a douchebag. Time to threaten him. Isn't there a governing organization? How long does soccer last? Can we speed his retirement?

My husband coached PeeWee Hockey for years, and he always made sure that the kids knew that as long as they worked together and did their best, the outcome wasn't the ultimate show of effort.

Familia said...


Strong, smart girl, that Nancy. Hugs to her for being so strong.

Lisa said...

Can't wait to try this!

ella said...

I know---about ass-hole soccer coaches and having a blog that no one reads! HA! No one ready my blog either. But you now have plenty of readers...what's your secret?

We had a terrible coach (one little boy's dad) he was an OK guy...just a bad coach. Then after the season..he died! OMGosh, we all felt bad for our bad-mouthing.

Kim said...

All three of my girls played soccer and oh how I remember the days when tears when they messed up. Luckily they all had good coaches. Frankly I am surprised at you-going at the coach with chopsticks-much to kind and easy. As for the stew good job mom!

chefectomy said...

What a twerp. That soup looks amazing. I don't know a lot about Portuguese food but want to learn more. Thanks for this Krysta.

dlyn said...

The soup looks great. Make a nice big pot, get it good and hot and take it to the coach as a thank you gift - you know, for all he has done for your daughter. Just when you get to him, trip and dump it all over his crotch.

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