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.