StarfruitThe starfruit is interesting to me because it has so much untapped potential.  I generally see it on top of fruit salads to make them pretty, when this is actually the worst thing you could do to this subtle fruit.  Much like eating a delicate goat cheese after starting with a funky blue, once you eat any other kind of fruit, this one tastes like…nothing.  But there are some beautiful apple-banana-pineapple notes that are noticeable when eaten alone. 

What is this?

LAUREN:  “I forgot the name.  But I’ve seen it.”

How many senses do we have guys?

SAM:  “Three!”

RODNEY:  “That’s right Sam!”

ME:  “Let’s pretend Daddy didn’t say that.”

What do you see?

LAUREN:  “I see that they’re like stars.  Like they’re kind of brownish yellow.”

SAM: “I see big stars.”

What does it smell like?

SAM: “Strawberries.”

LAUREN:  “Salad!”

What does it feel like?

LAUREN:  “Wet.”

SAM: “I hear nothing!”

What does it taste like?

LAUREN:  “Like it.”

SAM: “Is it a smashed lemon?

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Black bean soup with fennel sausage side

If I were to free associate for a minute on the topic of black beans, soup probably wouldn’t be the first thing to come to mind.  For some reason, my husband’s stories of growing up in California pop up first,  where lunch was usually a burrito chock full of chicken and black beans.  He or some other unfortunate soul would inadvertently cap a tooth with one and spend the rest of the day ambling around with a tooth that appeared to be decaying, or worse, missing.

Food wedged in teeth aside, black beans have tremendous health benefits, with a magical protein/fiber combination unrivaled by most food groups.  I’m into eating magic, but I’m also a big fan of eating things that taste good and are healthy to boot.  So we eat a lot of black beans around here, especially black bean soup.

I’d grown a bit tired of the usual suspects as heavenly as they are- black bean soup with bacon, sherry and a touch of cream, a Mexican-style soup chock full of cumin and topped with a heavy spray of cilantro.  But with a big bag of fennel pork sausage in the fridge, limited time, and a sense of adventure, I decided to throw my usual repertoire a curveball.  In particular, I needed something comforting and hearty to welcome home R from a 2-day business trip where presumably he sustained himself on Starbucks and airplane peanuts.

Black bean soup with fennel sausage top

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