Monday, 12 May 2014

Hearty Italian Sausage And Tuscan Kale Soup

I am sure you are well aware that having children and making a meal that they all like is difficult. How about making a meal for you Italian husband who thinks his mom’s cooking is the best ever. Well, I found that this soup is not only a crowd pleaser but simple and easy to make. I like recipes I can freeze and this is one of them. If you intend to freeze I would cook the pasta and add it into to each bowl then you can freeze the rest of the soup in a freezer bag.

When I asked on my Facebook page what people wanted to see on Mountain Mama Cooks for the New Year, I got a lot of requests for “skinny” recipes. I know that many of you have vowed to make this new year one of eating healthier and exercising more and while I tip my hat and commend what you are doing, my blog and the recipes will stay the same. I will focus on what I always have and that is giving you real food and a whole lot of moderation. Like resolutions, I don’t adhere to the all or none philosophy. (Forget what I said above about resolutions.

Now here's to surviving this crazy week. Wish me luck. Our program really needs to find supporters if we are to keep the doors open! Bet most of you couldn't attend the banquet, but do remember that all my book sales money goes to keep the doors open for the kids, so think Christmas presents! Just click on the link of the LCAF books on the right. I am in I, II and V. V is a pre-order that will ship at Thanksgiving. If we get all the school's bills covered, and eventually even get salaries, I will have more time to spend in the kitchen.

I am packing the soup into canning jars for work. I think I will keep the gnocchi separate in a little baggie. I love to take soups to school for lunch. That way when the kids come in with chili dogs and onion rings, I at least have something more substantial than a salad. I took vegetable beef soup last week and actually had a student offer to trade me lunches. We will see what happens this week! To change things up, I may add a one ounce block of cream cheese to make it a cheesier version later this week.

Last week I said it was starting to feel like soup weather around Seattle. Well, I guess the weather Gods heard me and decided to unleash their fury. We have had some fierce weather lately! Heavy downpours, whipping winds, thunder and lightening. It has been pretty wild around here. And even more wild is living on a floating home during a storm. As you may have guessed, my house moves about when there is significant weather happening around me. It’s something that I’ve gotten (mostly) used to now that I’ve been living here for over a year, although every once in a while it catches me off guard. Craziness!

Farro & Sausage Stew

It is still not quite cold enough here to warrant soup, but dang its officially fall and I have been craving soup. Especially last week since we all were hit hard with a nasty cold. Nothing better than soup to cure a cold. This soup was ridiculously easy to make. I googled a few recipes and then just created my own version. The sausage and white beans are a must in the soup, they give it great flavor. We added in a couple drizzles of our homemade hot sauce to give the soup even more heat and spice. You will want to dip the bread in the soup.

I've used dried beans to make the soup. You can certainly use canned, but if you've never cooked with dried beans, you should try it. Some people are confused about dried beans and don't know how to soak them and cook them. But there really is no mystery to it at all - it's very easy. Soaking simply softens the beans so that they have a shorter cooking time. That's all. And you don't really even have to soak them. If you forget to soak them, simply cook them longer. I just throw the beans in a pot and cover them with water and let them soak all day.

For those of you who are wondering when I made this soup the last time, it was almost a year ago - right after I started this lil blog. I thought I was going to be making a whole different soup, but realized after I read the recipe again that it wasn't what I thought it would be. But I ventured on and am I happy I did! If, by chance, you did see this recipe here way back then, take note that I have since changed the recipe to reflect the way I make it, instead of giving you the original with my additions or substitutions noted.

I came across the recipe one night bouncing around doing searches for soup ideas to make over the winter. It caught my eye because of it’s simplicity but it also reminded me so much of the Italian wedding soup I made last year. (absolutely DO check that out and make it. It’s incredible.) This is definitely not Italian wedding soup. Let’s be clear about that. It’s similar but totally different. The meatball ingredients are completely different for starters, the other has more veggies, this has tomato paste, etc. But I knew this would be a winner with what similarities they do have. It’ll feel less labor intensive that way.

While the stew is simmering, take care of your left over vegetables. I only used half a bag of carrots and half a bunch of celery in the stew. So, I washed, peeled and sliced the rest, placed them in a freezer bag and saved them for the next soup that I make. Most soups and stews start with a base of onion, carrot and celery so I’ll have less prep next time! I also saved my scraps and will place them in my “vegetable scraps” freezer bag to make a vegetable stock with later.

30 Minute Hearty Italian Basil Sausage Soup

I happened to get a 3 lb package of Italian sausage 50% off last summer and came home with my loot and froze it. My love for Italian sausage knows no bounds, but my knowledge of recipes that use the savory meat is limited. I went on a search and bookmarked all kinds of recipes, even ones that I wouldn't normally try. This recipe was one of those ones. I'm a Go Big or Go Home kind of girl when it comes to spices and combining flavors but since a friend had passed on some carrots and zucchini from her garden I tried this soup.

If you are looking for a quick weeknight dinner that won’t keep you in the kitchen long (I hope you can handle 10 minutes), you’ll love this. I’m not just saying that this soup tastes like it’s been simmering all day, it really does. My whole family had the entire pot eaten without any leftovers the next day. I even caught my 3 year old picking up his bowl to drink the very last drop. Trust me this one is tasty! Make sure to enjoy this soup with some good garlic bread and a salad too.

By Kandice, 12/30/2010 Great base recipe. It needs to be tweaked to be that -M-G soup that my family and friends are always asking me to make. Start rolling the sausage into little balls first. It takes longer than you think. Substitute great northern beans when you don't have cannellini. I double the carrots, celery, rosemary, garlic, broth, and kale. I use 1 lb of sausage because that is usually how it is packaged. I love hot italian and usually add 1-2 tsp of red pepper flakes for a little extra kick. I typically use 3 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar.

This new phase one recipe for Italian Sausage Soup with Green Pepper, Chickpeas, and Pesto is something I came up with a few weeks ago when I found turkey Italian sausage on sale at the store and I wanted a hearty comforting soup that I could make and eat for dinner that same night. I've made a few soup variations with similar flavors, but what made this soup especially enjoyable for me was an idea that popped into my head to mash some of the chickpeas so they kind of dissolved into the soup.

Place chopped onion & mashed garlic in soup pot & sautee in olive oil. Take sausage out of its casings and break off bite sized meatballs Add this to onion mixture. Cook sausages on medium heat for about 4 minutes. Your goal is to make sure there’s no pink left on the outside of the meat. Now add chicken stock, beans & frozen spinach. Simmer on the stove for about 20 minutes. Make sure there’s a very low boil going on. Before you serve, add the red-wine vinegar (it will give it that extra zing!). Season with salt & pepper. Enjoy.

Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup

There is just something about tomatoes and Italian spices simmering that never fails to make me smile. Luckily for me, everyone in my family shares this love of Italian flavors. One of my favorite meats to include in a soup is sausage. If you choose a spicy or hot variety, the sausage alone will bring a great deal of flavor to the soup. Along with some tomatoes, beans and baby spinach, this was a really great combination of flavors that every member of the family enjoyed. My middle son ate three bowls of this soup and told me twice that it was a two thumbs up meal.

The lentil stew with Italian sausage and kale turned out really well! It was nice and warm and just full of flavour and healthy vegetables and it really hit the spot on the cold winter days. I had half of a loaf of bread left from the artichoke bread and that was the perfect excuse to slather it up with garlicky butter and toast it with some cheese on top. The cheesy garlic bread was perfect for soaking up that lat bit of tasty stew from the bottom of the bowl. Lentil Stew with Italian Sausage and Kale (makes 4+ servings)

If you want to whip this up in a flash during the week when you don’t have a lot of time for dinner, and the troops are harassing you to make something delicious right away, make this soup. Some help from the store can have this soup on the table in 30 minutes. Use low-sodium store bought chicken stock or broth. Buy the kale in the pre-washed, pre-cut sacks that are ready to go. If you are not a fan of pork sausage, a spicy Italian chicken sausage does the same trick. No one will know, and your family will love you for it.

A few notes on the ingredients. I used fresh tomatoes, as I love how they look in a soup and I like to avoid the chemicals in canned food. However I am sure that you could substitute a 14 ounce can of chopped tomatoes. I used mild Italian sausage (a very nice, custom made one that I can buy locally). You can use whatever type you like best, hot would be good as well. Chicken or turkey sausage would work beautifully and I am sure that this soup would still be good even without the sausage for a vegetarian/vegan soup, as well.

Now, this kind of cold really chills you to the bone and it’s hard to shake. In my opinion, nothing warms you up better than a big bowl of soup, which is why I’ve been making at least one pot of homemade soup a week. This recipe has made an appearance three times so far this month – I love it so much. It’s super easy and quick and we always have leftovers for lunch the next day. The spicy Italian sausage lends a lot of flavor to the soup. You can use any sausage you like, but I prefer the flavor from a good quality spicy sausage.

Italian Sausage Soup With Green Pepper, Chickpeas, And Pesto

I’ve never really considered making tomato soup until recently. This recipe is full of roasted garlic and tomato flavor along with the savory spiciness of the Italian sausage. This tomato soup recipe is anything but boring! For the roasting I place the garlic on top of the cut side of the tomatoes. Placing it there helps the garlic roast and allows that flavor to become better infused into the tomato. Call me crazy but it really works! I pan roasted the sausage and you can either blend it into the soup after or finely mince by hand.

Remove sausage from casings and add to a large pot. Brown sausage, breaking it up into bite-size pieces as it cooks. Drain off any grease. Return to heat and add in garlic. Cook while stirring for one minute. Add tomatoes, broth, basil, and cream cheese. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to allow the cream cheese to melt and become fully incorporated. Add tortellini and cook a few minutes, until just done. Remove from heat and add spinach leaves, allowing them to wilt. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

The soup is super versatile and you could use whatever vegetables- fresh or canned- that you have on hand. I stock my pantry with Del Monte® veggies and tomatoes this time of year when fresh produce is slim pickings. The fruits and vegetables are picked and packed at their prime and most are canned almost immediately, locking in the nutrition and vitamin content. I appreciate that Del Monte offers so many no-salt and reduced sodium canned vegetables as I prefer to add my own salt especially when making something like a soup as I can control the sodium. It might sound strange but I promise you it works!

I originally had this soup at an ok-restaurant with a friend of mine. As we sat there, drinking our wine and eating our soup, we started discussing how good the soup was and how simple it seemed. We vowed we’d try to make it at home ourselves. This is what I came up with. I didn’t have amounts exactly listed as I began experimenting. I just eyeballed the whole thing the first time around. Then as I continued to make it, I revised it here and added there. It eventually came together as you see it here.

In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and add in the Italian sausage. Brown the sausage until it is cooked through. I’m proud to share with you a Hearty Italian Kale soup made with sweet Italian sausage and Tuscan Kale. The kale is cooked down so you won’t have to worry about harsh flavors or texture. This soup makes for a great introduction into the world of kale. Stir the Italian sausage soup while you add the oregano, thyme, and rosemary to the homemade soup recipe. Allow it to boil.