Last night we had our first dinner gathering in Oxford. To me, a gathering implies more than just us and a couple other people. It’s  a place to weave friends together in your own life but also to make new connections for them. So last night, we had 8 friends over with a big pot of soup. I love people spending time together over good food. It draws them out.

It was fun. Kim and Maggie are co-workers at a local cafe who’ve never met eachother before. And Allison met Jonathon, her Jimmy John’s hero! We learned about Nicole’s Annie Oakley skills. And caught our lawn on fire (we now have a permanent fire pit spot). And broke a glass. And drowned our speakers in a sink full of water. One of my professor’s evidently believes it’s not a good party unless something gets broken…so our friends helped us have a great party!

And did I mention the food was good? A simple version of Zuppa Toscana (an Olive Garden fav, but I think mine’s better). Here’s how it goes:

half a pack of bacon, cooked and chopped

pack of sausage (breakfast/spicy), cooked

1-2 onions, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic

maybe 5 cups broth an 5 cups water

5 or so potatoes, sliced

salt and pepper

half a bunch of kale, chopped

cup of heavy whipping cream

So, you cook the meat, chop it, and set it aside. In a stockpot, heat some olive oil and then toss in your onions and garlic for a couple minutes. Next, add the broth/water and potatoes, wait for it to heat to a medium simmer and let it go for about 10 min, when the potatoes should be starting to get tender. Add some salt and pepper and the meats and simmer another 10 min. Add the kale until it wilts a little and then top it off with the cream. Mix it in and warm, then serve.

Our pot o’ soup fed 10, served in coffee mugs with sides of salad, bread and butter, and a creamy parmesan baguette. Of course, there was red wine. And topped off the night with pumpkin mousse and grahams. And a warm fire that burned our lawn. What a great night to fill our house and celebrate the people who are joining our journey in this life.


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