Monday, February 11, 2013

Soup's On! It IS Still Winter


Even though the temperatures in our neck of the woods have flirted with 50 off and on the past week or so, it is still winter and that means it's still soup season.

A locally owned restaurant in our community serves one of my favorite soups ever. The menu name for it is Andouille Sausage and Kale soup. It's an exceptional broth-based soup. One of my other favorites is Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana, also a sausage and greens soup, but with a cream base.

My family will be the first to tell you that cooking isn't my forte. So, I'm always looking for easy meals that are next to impossible to mess up. To complicate things, I also want healthy, lower fat/lower calorie recipes, when possible.

My search for something like the andouille sausage or Zuppa Toscana recipes turned up a number of possibilities, but none that met all my requirements: easy, healthy and reasonably low-fat/low-cal. So, I cherry-picked the best ingredients from a couple of recipes and came up with my own variation on a theme.

The main difference in my version from the other creamy soups is the substitution of skim milk for the whole milk, half-and-half and heavy cream and spicy Italian turkey sausage for sweet Italian pork sausage. Of course, if you want a richer, more caloric, higher fat soup, you can replace the skim milk in my recipe with two cups of whole milk and four cups of half-and-half and a splash of heavy cream.

Any type of Italian sausage will work. Select one that suits your taste. We like ours (spicy) hot!


Here's the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 bunches of kale, cleaned and torn into bite-sized pieces (or substitute a half bag of frozen kale, if desired; thaw and add as you would the fresh kale)
  • 12-15 red potatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or to taste; I add more)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • Fresh or dried oregano to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
Boil sliced potatoes until tender. Don't overcook. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, brown the sausage and onions. Drain any fat. Stir in red pepper flakes, oregano, black pepper, chicken broth, milk and half-and-half. Simmer 20-30 minutes.

Add potatoes. Stir in kale. 

Simmer another 10-15 minutes. Serve.


Bon Apetit!

P.S. Don't you just love the adorable placemats and napkins I found at the thrift store? They're in the original box, label on, never used. Probably from the '60s or '70s. Each of the four placemats has a different saying on it. Watch for this sweet set in my Etsy store in the next couple of weeks.


Make it a great day!

2 comments:

  1. Love the placemats... and thanks for the soup recipe... I make soup regularly, and I am always looking for lower cal recipes. I use half and half in place of heavy cream regularly.

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  2. Such a charming placemat/napkin set...and the soup looks delicious! What's not to like about a wonderful bowl of soup on a winter's day? Thanks for stopping by my cabinet post, Ann!

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