Italian White Bean and Shrimp Soup

Italian White Bean and Shrimp Soup
Italian White Bean and Shrimp Soup

Italian White Bean and Shrimp Soup

This is a delightful white bean soup. It's light and very flavorful, not to mention full of greens and fiber rich white beans. It's also really easy! I do recommend using shrimp stock if you can; directions on how to make it in the notes.
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Keyword cannelini, shrimp, white bean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 8
Author misangela


  • 1 pound Shrimp Med to Large, peeled & deveined, cut in half crosswise if large
  • 1 med White onion small dice
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Dried marjoram optional, or use dry basil
  • 2 cans Cannelini, Navy or Great Northern white beans 14 oz, mostly drained (chickpeas are good, too!)
  • 1 can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes 14 oz, plain is fine, mostly drained
  • 1-2 Quarts Shrimp Stock use +/- to get the thickness you want
  • 2 Cups Lightly packed baby arugula rough chopped
  • 8-10 leaves Fresh Basil chiffonade, then cross chopped
  • 12 leaves Fresh Oregano chopped (optional)
  • 1 med Lemon zest and juice
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  • Start the shrimp stock first, if you're making your own. I highly recommend this!
  • In a large pot, add in about 1 Tbl olive oil and put over med heat.
  • Add in onion, garlic red pepper and dried herb. Cook until translucent, do not brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add beans, tomatoes and lemon zest. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add shrimp stock and bring to a simmer. Adjust seasoning. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, then turn off heat.
  • Add shrimp, arugula, basil, oregano and lemon juice. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with a turn of extra virgin olive oil on top and toasted baguette.


Make your own shrimp stock!  Just save the shells from shrimp and simmer for about an hour with some salt in a 2 quart stock pot. SO GOOD! Really makes a difference in this soup. 
As you use shrimp, put the shells in a freezer bag and when you have a bagful, make stock by adding 1 qt of water for every quart bag of shells. Simply simmer for about an hour and add some salt. I make stock and store in the freezer, but if you don't have space, just keep the shells and use for stock as you need it. 

Angela’s Lamb Merguez Croissants

Angela's Merguez
Croissants with Merguez Lamb

Angela's Lamb Merguez Croissants

I have a hard time finding premade merguez sausage, so I decided to make some myself. This is not really a sausage, but ground lamb is pretty fatty, so it tastes like a true sausage. It is bursting with Moroccan flavour and just the right amount of spice. This recipe calls for MANY spices, but they all bring something to the party, so do try to use them all. Wrap a dollop of this into a canned croissant and bake it up for GREAT party appetizers! That is exactly what I used this for. This recipe will make about 40 croissants (5 cans of 8 ea).
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, Moroccan
Keyword lamb, merguez, merguez sausage recipe
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 40 croissants
Author misangela


  • 5 cans Canned Croissants
  • 1 pound Ground Lamb
  • 2 tsp salt Dixie Crystal Kosher
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp sumac adds a citrusy note
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika you can sub sweet, but the smoked gives depth
  • 1 Tbl Harissa the dry kind or you can sub paste here
  • 2 Tbl Garlic Paste an Indian ingredient that I use often; you can sub 4-6 cloves garlic, smashed into paste
  • 2 tsp Chile Paste Amore brand, you can sub tom paste + 1 tsp cayenne here
  • 1 Tbl fresh Cilantro minced; sub 2 tsp dried but fresh is better
  • 2 Tbl fresh Mint minced; sub 2 tsp dried but fresh is better


  • Put ground lamb into a bowl and break up a bit. Add all the spices and mix thoroughly.
  • Cook lamb in a skillet over med hi heat until 3/4 done. Drain with a sieve if it's very greasy. Let cool for a few minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F (whatever is indicated on the canned croissants).
  • Open up the croissants and separate.
  • Put about a tsp +/- on the large end of each croissant and roll up. Pinch closed so they don't leak.
  • Cook as instructed on the can - until golden brown. Serve warm or room temperature.


This lamb merguez is one of my favourite recipes. The lamb tastes incredible! It is actually better than the merguez I've purchased before. 
It would be great as a ragout over rice or rolled into grape leaves. 

Catering, Party Planning & Meal Prep

Caprese Salad

I specialize in cocktail nosh for small parties. I have done Korean, Puerto Rican, Indian, Italian, Mediterranean and other cuisines. I write all the menus and design all the recipes myself. I specialize in parties, but I could do small dinners as well. I am also available for meal prep. Prices depend upon what you type of food you want and the amount. I will deliver for a small fee.

tailgate catering spread
Cocktail Party catering

HERE is a gallery with some photos of my food!

Shrimp w/ Creamy Prosecco Sauce

You can get ahold of me via email (misangelaspam at gmail dot com), FB or IG. I can’t put my phone number here, but if you have it you can call or text me! Thanks!!

ALL Mirena updates AND Removal (2011 – 2020)

Updates for Mirena over the years (original review after updates):
1. 3/26/12 I’m currently on week 8 w/out a period! Yay! But I doubt it’ll last. I’ve had all other indicators of impending bleeding, but none yet. So. I still give it 2.5, but if the periods stop I’ll up it to 3 or 3.5 perhaps. Here’s to hoping!

2. Dec 2012 So, it’s been almost 2 years now and I’m happy with Mirena. The periods stopped a few months ago (Sep?) and I only have occasional spotting. All is well for me and I’ll give Mirena 3.5 stars. The first year is a bitch, but once everything settles, it seems to work like a charm. Hysterectomy would still be more efficient, but if you don’t want that, then Mirena is a pretty good choice.

3. October 2013: Still chugging along with Mirena at almost 3 years. I sometimes get light cramps, but I’ve not bled in a long time. YAY! Mirena has been great for me. Perhaps by the time this one needs replacing (it’s a 5 year device) I’ll be ready to yank out the Vile Organ. ::fingers crossed::

4. December 2015: As I am coming up on the 5 year mark (Jan 2016), I was getting anxious about having to replace the Mirena. Since the previous update, I’ve had no periods and things have been great. It’s about as close to hysterectomy as you can get w/out the knife. Fortunately, my gyno informed me that I do NOT have to replace the Mirena since I don’t use it for birth control. She wants me to keep going on this one to see how long the drugs actually work. I’ve become a test case to see the ACTUAL lifespan of the Mirena for therapeutic use rather than birth control. I’ll post more info as time passes.

5. January 2018: At year 7 and still working! Yay! I still have no periods, no PMS, no nuttin. The only time I’ll see a spot is if I’m really sick, really stressed or post surgery. I had Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy in May 2016 and spotted a little after that, but other than that? It’s like the vile organ isn’t even there. The Mirena is the best thing I’ve ever done besides VSG. I’m 70# thinner, I feel great and I still have no vile organ issues! I *do* have some hot flashes, but so far, that’s it. I am 52 and my gyno is interested to see how the Mirena interacts with menopause. I am interested as well. I’ll report more when things happen. (Oh, I did find out that it’s no longer “Mirena”, it’s something else now, but basically the same product.)

6. March 2020: Finally got the Mirena removed. I forgot to mention that at my last visit to the gyno, she informed me that I’d gone through menopause. !! I had no idea!! She said that since it worked so well for me as a menopausal facilitator, she’s going to recommend it to other pre-menopausal women. I had the Mirena for 9 years and it supposedly stopped working at year 5-6. Since I went through menopause at the same time, it’s hard to say. All I can tell you is that it is MAGICAL and I highly recommend it! I had no periods after the first year of adjustment and as I said, I went through menopause without knowing it. Having it removed was literally NOTHING. I was nervous, but on the table she said, “hey, can you hold your breath for a second?” and by the time I answered, she’d popped it out! LOL She held it up and said AHA!! It was all discoloured and gnarly looking, too! EW! But that damn thing worked like a charm and was worth EVERY PENNY of the grand it took to get it.

My overall opinion of the Mirena (or whatever it’s called now) is, if you CAN get it, DO IT. Ovarian cysts will disqualify you and perhaps some other things. There are horror stories of the pain involved with getting one installed, but I didn’t have that. It was odd and slightly painful for a second, but I didn’t have any big issues with the install. And once it’s in, it’s good to go. Mirena changed my life! It ended the horrible periods and got me through menopause seamlessly. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

Original post:

I had the Mirena (IUD w/ hormones) installed Jan 3 2011. Read about what it was like to get the IUD installed HERE. The first year has mostly sucked. I had a three+ month long period after I first got it. No cramps, but I fucking bled nonstop. Then it backed off and I was having a period every 5-7 weeks with no cramping. BUT STILL HAVING THEM. That went on for months then I had a 2 month break Oct-Nov, then on Thanksgiving, it came back with a vengeance – complete with mild cramps. I just finished another period with mild cramps. :(

So, the promise of no periods with Mirena has been a LIE for me. I’m not surprised. Nothing involving the Vile Organ EVER works as advertised with me. Yes, I’m glad to not have incapacitating cramps, but I still have to deal with the fucking bleeding (+PMS) and that sucks donkey balls. I’m SICK of dealing with this messy nastiness. I’ve dealt with it for over 30 years and I AM SICK OF IT. I just want it to stop!!

The Mirena is $800 plus installation fees, so about a grand all together. The Mirena company does offer a payment plan with no interest, which is nice.

Are your cramps worth $1000 to eliminate? That’s really the bottom line. (BTW, you do NOT have to be a breeder to get the Mirena. It is approved for ALL women, regardless of breeder status.)

My point is that the Mirena, while great for cramps, is NOT a substitute for a hysterectomy. If given the option, I’d say go for hysterectomy in a heartbeat.

Mirena gets 2.5 out of 5 stars. NOW: 3.5 stars!