Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Rainy Day Homemade Soup

I live in Florida and we are no stranger to rain during summer time. So as life would have it, it's been raining off and on the last few days. This past Sunday was quite dreary as I was trying to figure out what to do for dinner. And then it hit me....homemade soup!

One of my favorite homemade soups is a copycat recipe of Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana so this is what I went with because I had almost everything I needed it get it going at home. I did have to do a quick trip to Winn Dixie in the rain, but it was worth it!

Here is what you need:

  • (1) package or roll of mild Italian sausage (ground, not links)
  •  Bacon (I used precooked bacon salad pieces because it was easier not to cook something else)
  • crushed red peppers flakes
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 32 oz box chicken broth (this is 4 cups as well)
  •  approximately 10 small red potatoes, skin on, cubed
  • 2-4 garlic cloves – minced
  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • 2 cups chopped kale (some sites offer kale in a bag. That is what I used. It is chopped already but you could give it another rough chop later)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (I used half a cup because I planed on freezing half of the soup)
  • salt and pepper to taste

  • Combine broth, water,  potatoes, onion and garlic to a large pot and cook until potatoes are tender. Next, cook and drain sausage at set aside until potatoes are done.

    Once potatoes are done cooking, you can add sausage, crushed red pepper and salt and pepper for preference. You may wish to add a little more chicken broth if you want because some of the liquid has been absorbed or cooked off at this point.

    I like my soup to be a little chunky, but not overly chunky so I used a potato masher to break up the potatoes a little bit. I let the soup simmer for a little while longer because it was too early for dinner but if at this point you are ready to eat you can after the final steps.

    Add you kale and cam and let them heat through for approximately 10 minutes.

    Tip: this recipe make a lot for just me and th hubby, so I usually separate out half the soup (before adding cream) because I will freeze this portion for another meal. If you freeze the soup with cream, it will break apart during the defrosting process.

    To round out the meal, I cracked open a Pilsbury French bread loaf and cooked it as directed so we had some "fake homemade" bread for our meal.

    I hope you enjoy this recipe! I do each time I cook it! What's your go to rainy day meal?

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