This week really made me feel so proud of my students and so proud to be a teacher. Because of my students’ hard work and my ridiculously determined and stubborn nature, I only have 1 failing student in all of my 5 classes. For all those non-teachers out there, this is an amazing feat. Generally it is normal to have around 5 to 10 F’s in any given class, especially with freshmen. They are just not totally in the groove of high school yet! This makes it all the more inspirational for me and worthy of celebration!
While some of these kids may not like me bugging, helping, and pushing them constantly, I have decided that I don’t care. I wish with all my might that I would have had someone push me like that in high school, but I was not so lucky. I don’t care if they hate it when I make them stay in at lunch to complete assignments they have missed or to help them with an essay. I don’t care that most weeks I am not able to hang out and chat with my friends and colleagues and enjoy a break during our limited lunch time. I DO care that my students pass my class, learn the most they can about English, and most importantly, learn how to be successful in life. I will not stop, ever, until I do everything I can to make that happen. This is how I show them that I care immensely for them—and boy, do I ever.
After a very long day of this mentality, I often crash when I get home–all the more reason to make a simple, quick, healthy dinner bursting with flavor! This soup fills me up, calms me down, and recharges my batteries for the next day of teaching my students about English, life, and love.
Italian Sausage, Kale, and Sweet Potato Soup
1 lb package spicy Italian sausage, casings removed and broken up into pieces
1 bag chopped organic kale (Trader Joe’s!)
2 medium or 3 small sweet potatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces (you can leave the peels on!)
2 32oz containers gluten free chicken stock (the regular (not low sodium) is MUCH better)
¼ cup (or so) canned full-fat coconut milk (you can sub regular milk or cream if lactose doesn’t bother you!)
**2-3 cloves garlic and ½ chopped onion
In a Dutch oven or soup pot, add the sausage (removed from the casings) 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook until pieces are browned. Then, add the kale and cook a few minutes until wilted slightly and bright green. Add the 2 cartons of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the chopped sweet potato to the pot, a little sea salt, and a few cracks of pepper and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Add a little more salt and pepper, if needed, to taste. Once done, add the coconut milk and serve!
**If you don’t have a sensitive tummy, after you cook the sausage, remove it from the pot. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes on medium-low, and then add the onions, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the sausage back in, followed by the kale and so on. I did not do this and the soup was still FANTASTIC!