Tag Archives: italian soup

Souppa like Zuppa Toscana

I still had some sausage left over from my sausage gravy & biscuits, plus half a bunch of kale that hadn’t been made into kale chips. (If you’ve never tried kale chips, I definitely recommend it! Kale is super good for you but can be bitter, and this is a super simple way to get your leafy greens). A quick internet search for “sausage and kale” quickly showed a trend towards this “Zuppa Toscana” that Olive Garden makes (don’t sue me please!) that lots of people claim to mimic.

Well as any loyal reader knows, I’m not a ‘by-the-book’ recipe follower, so I just took the general idea and ran with it. What happened was a simple, delicious soup that quite frankly surprised me with how tasty it was. With really only 4 ingredients and 30 minutes, a warm, filling and complex soup for dinner can be yours!

Ingredients:
1/2 pound sausage
1/2 bunch kale, shredded
2-3 large potatoes, diced
6 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
3 tbsp cornstarch
Italian seasonings

Step 1: Brown the sausage in a frying pan. Drain most of the fat and set aside.

Step 2: Dice the potatoes into thin wedges. There’s no right or wrong way really. Most copy-cat recipes use redskins but I only have russet so those will do. Drop them into a pot with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, until soft when poked with a fork.

Step 3: While the potatoes boil, rip the kale into bite sized pieces, discarding the stems. When the potatoes are soft, drain and put back into the pot.

Step 4: Add water, bouillon, seasoning, kale and sausage. If you’re on a super budget the spices and bouillon aren’t required, just kicks up the flavor a notch. If you’re flush with cash, try adding half heavy cream and half chicken stock to make a creamier base soup. Of course, if you’re rolling in Benjamins you could also just go out to Olive Garden for dinner tonight…and we should be friends. Email me k?

Step 5: Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes. In a cup, combine some hot soup water and the cornstarch and mix. Once it’s all dissolved add it to the pot. This will help it to thicken. Also not completely required, but I like a little body. You could use flour for the same purpose.

The flavors combine beautifully into a rich soup that I thoroughly enjoyed. I would definitely make this again. If only I had some salad and bread sticks to go with it.

Wedding Soup

 

As I was browsing some old cooking magazines one slow day at work, I came across a recipe for wedding soup that sounded absolutely wonderful. Seeing as I had most of the ingredients (though the list is super short anyways) I decided to try it out. Here is my version of it.

Ingredients:

  • 3 carrots
  • 1 head of escarole
  • 1 package frozen spinach
  • 8 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 can cooked chicken
  • 1/2 bag frozen Italian style meatballs (ok, so I took a bit of a shortcut here)
  • black pepper to taste
Here’s the ingredients laid out on a cutting board.
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Step 1: Put a half pot of water on to boil and open up the bouillon cubes and drop them in.
Step 2: Cut the end off the head of escarole and chop into thin strips, maybe 1/2 inch. No real science to it. I diced up the carrots into small pieces, put that in, and added the spinach and the escarole to the pot. I opened the chicken and added in about 1 tbsp black pepper.
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Step 3: Put that on medium-high and let it come to a boil. Then put it on to simmer while I made the noodles. (Yes, I made up for frozen meatballs by making my own noodles!)
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To make the noodles, I mixed about 1 cup flour and 2 eggs in a bowl until dough-like. I then pinched off tablespoon-sized balls of dough one at a time and rolled them with my hands into logs. Then I sliced those into tiny dumplings and boiled them for about 5 minutes.
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Seriously, making your own noodles tastes a million times better than the store! Although it is quite a bit of work. I got maybe a pound out of 2 hours’ work.
The final step is to add the meatballs, put it all together in a bowl and enjoy! It is super healthy (besides the probably astronomical sodium…) and pretty cheap overall to make quite a bit. You should definitely sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top! Next time though, I will add 2 or 3 times as much chicken, because 1 can into a gallon or so of soup gets lost easily.