Polish Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup

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Whenever it’s even a little cooler here, I like to take advantage. This winter has been so mild that it feels more like spring/early summer. Sometimes I wish for cooler air, but then I see the pictures of what Northerners are dealing with. I’m a lightweight when it comes to temperatures below 75!

This is a dairy-free, “creamy” soup but you can substitute unsweetened coconut milk with heavy cream or half and half. In my experience, the coconut milk doesn’t make the food taste “coconutty”. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup – adapted from The Candid Appetite

  • 1 pound Polish sausage
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 large bunches of kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 pound red potatoes, sliced
  • 8 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk or heavy cream

Directions –

1. Heat a large heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat. Once the pot has heated through, add the sausage, which you removed from the casing. Using a wooden spoon, begin to break up the sausage and allow it to cook, stirring occasionally, until it has fully browned. Remove the crisped sausage from the pot and transfer it to a plate or bowl. Set aside.

2. Lower the heat to medium, add the butter or oil and throw in the onions and garlic. Stir, scraping down the bottom of the pot picking up the browned bits of sausage with the back of a wooden spoon, and cook until soft and translucent about 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, if using. Continue to sauté until the onions have caramelized. Add the chopped kale in batches, allowing it to wilt down as it cooks.Cook the kale for another 3 minutes until it has turned bright green and completely wilted down. Throw in the sliced potatoes and cooked sausage.

3. Pour in the chicken stock or broth and bring it up to a boil. Lower the heat and allow the soup to simmer until the potatoes are cooked tender and soft. Taste the soup for seasoning, at this point you may add more salt, pepper or red pepper flakes, if desired. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, stir in the heavy cream. Serve right away with some bread on the side. Enjoy!

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Chicken and Potato Soup

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Quick Post: Florida is experiencing 80 degree temps lately with ridiculously high humidity – but I know you Northerners could still use some warming soups. This is perfectly comforting, rich and creamy; and I wish that it was cooler here so I have a good excuse to make some. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chicken and Potato Soup – adapted from Damn Delicious

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, (*fresh if you have it*)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth (*I used homemade chicken stock*)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions –

  • Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in potatoes.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes. Stir in chicken and cheese, a handful at a time, until smooth, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the chowder is too thick, add more milk as needed.
  • Serve immediately

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

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I had just enough leftover chicken to make this, plus everything else on hand to make this recipe – I love that! This was perfect for a Sunday lunch and we all enjoyed it with our favorite crescent rolls. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Creamy Chicken + Lemon Rice Soup – adapted from Simply Scratch

  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 medium peeled carrot, diced small
  • 2 stalks celery, diced small
  • 8 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 3/4 cup white rice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, strained
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1 heaping cup leftover shredded chicken

Directions –

Heat your Dutch oven over medium heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil.

Sauté the diced carrots and celery until they’re just starting to soften. Pour in the low sodium chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Pour in the 3/4 cup of long grain rice. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and reduce the heat to medium high. Cook the rice for 20 minutes; stand nearby just in case there’s a boil-over.

In a bowl, beat the two eggs and add in the lemon juice. Once the twenty minutes are up, remove the lid to the soup and gather some of the broth into a ladle. While stirring, slowly pour in the hot broth into the egg mixture. Then pour the warmed egg/broth mixture into the Dutch oven and stir.

Add in the shredded chicken and minced parsley. Taste the soup and check the seasonings, season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Turkey Stock and Turkey Noodle Soup

**I’m a slacker and planned on posting this weeks ago! **

I usually intend to make stock with the turkey bones, but never get around to it…this year I was determined not to waste a bit of that free range bird 😉 After removing all of the meat, I double wrapped the bones in plastic wrap and stored it in my refrigerator – not the freezer this time! A couple of days later, I threw all the ingredients in my giant 12 quart pot and simmered the contents for about four hours. Once the stock was finished, I strained it and then prepared my veggies for the simple soup that I planned for dinner. I was so pleased with how the soup turned out that this will have to become a new tradition for my family…this and the turkey tetrazzini that I will share with you all later. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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**This recipe made a very large batch or rich and flavorful stock, and what is pictured is what was left over after making turkey noodle soup.

Basic Turkey Stock – inspired from Brown Eyed Baker

  • 1 turkey carcass
  • 10 quarts water
  • two onions
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 celery
  • 1 TBSP peppercorns
  • 2 TBSP kosher salt or more to taste
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
    *special equipment – 12 quart pot

Place all in a 12 quart stock pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for at least 4 hours, skimming the foam off the top as necessary. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into large heatproof containers. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate or freeze.

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Turkey Noodle Soup –

  • 2 quarts turkey stock (*more or less depending on how “soupy” you like it)
  • 2 cups roasted, and chopped turkey (*I used the dark meat*)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 – 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 – 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 cups egg noodles
  • kosher salt and pepper
Directions –
Heat a large soup pot to medium and add olive oil. Once the oil is warmed, add all your diced veggies to the pan. Saute for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the turkey stock and chopped turkey to the pot. Bring to boil, season to taste and add the egg noodles. Cook until the egg noodles are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Taste again, season if needed – enjoy the soup with a crusty loaf of bread…yum!

Loaded Potato Soup

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I got my first cold of the season this week, so I was really grateful when I felt well enough to be up and cooking for my family again last night. I had plenty of organic russet potatoes in the pantry and homemade chicken stock taking up space in my freezer;  and even though it’s not exactly cold and gloomy here – it is dark and rainy! I pinned this recipe from The Pioneer Woman and went with it because she rarely steers me wrong.

Verdict: This was really tasty and the whole family enjoyed it – even my picky daughter! I served this with Parmesan garlic bread because what is soup with out some extra carbs for dunking? ( I will share that new recipe with you all soon). I will make this again and it makes a big batch and would be perfect for potlucks or to split and bring to a family in need. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Perfect Potato Soup – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 6 slices Thin Bacon, Cut Into 1-inch Pieces
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 3 whole Carrots, Scrubbed Clean And Diced
  • 3 stalks Celery, Diced
  • 6 whole Small Russet Potatoes, Peeled And Diced
  • 8 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
  •  Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Fresh Chives or parsley
  • 1 cup Grated Cheddar

Directions –

Add bacon pieces to a soup pot over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the pot.

Return the hot to medium-high heat and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or so, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and Cajun spice.

Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender. Whisk together the flour and the milk, then pour into the soup and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove half to 2/3 the soup and blend in a blender/food process until completely smooth. Pour it back into the soup pot and stir to combine. Let it heat back up as you taste for seasonings, adding more of what it needs. Stir in cream, then stir in parsley, reserving a little for garnish.

Serve in bowls garnished with chives, grated cheese and crisp bacon pieces.

Broccoli Cheese Soup II (with Ham)

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Even before I baked ham the other day, I already had plans for the leftovers! I wanted to make ham and potato soup, but he had a different craving. M loves Panera Bread broccoli cheese soup – I like it too. That’s not the problem…when I have a plan, I’m not immediately flexible to accommodate different ideas! He doesn’t really like my version because it’s not as thick as Panera’s – but I have a feeling they accomplish this by adding processed cheese. After deciding to go ahead with his plan, I quickly looked for a recipe that called for the stuff, but I couldn’t find one. I was in the parking lot of the grocery store, using my slow phone and didn’t have a whole lot of time. This recipe makes a small batch of thick, rich soup – all that half and half kept the base nice and creamy. I usually double my go-to recipe and use whatever milk I have, so it’s much thinner.

Verdict: Okay…this recipe is better than the other one. It’s rich and creamy, thanks to all that half and half! Also, the addition of diced ham (from a new recipe I’ll share soon) was a tasty, meaty and a perfect complement. Everyone loved it and the rolls I paired with it. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup – adapted from Cookbook-Recipes

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ pound fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup carrots, julienned
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 heaping cup of diced ham, optional

Directions:

Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender and puree. Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.

Zuppa Toscana and Breadsticks

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Is there anything more comforting than a rich soup and fresh baked bread? This is seriously good, and even my picky daughter loved this. That’s always a win in my book when I don’t have to tell/nag her to eat more of dinner. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Zuppa Toscana – adapted from Annie’s Eats

  • 1 pound Italian sausage (I used chicken sausage)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine for deglazing
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 cups fresh kale, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper

Directions –

Place a large stock pot on the stove over medium heat. Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook until well browned. Remove the cooked sausage from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl; set aside. Add the chopped onion to the pan and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for a minute more, just until fragrant. Add the wine to the pot and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Add the potatoes, kale, chicken stock and water to the pot. Increase the heat to med-high, bring to boil and the reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender and cooked through. Stir in heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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Almost Famous Bread Sticks – adapted from Food Network

  • 1 package yeast
  • 4 1/4 cups AP flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter,softened
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fine salt

For the Topping:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon true garlic powder
  • Pinch of dried oregano

Directions –

Make the dough: Place 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a mixer; sprinkle in the yeast and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, butter, sugar, fine salt and 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water; mix with the paddle attachment until a slightly sticky dough forms, 5 minutes.

Knead the dough by hand on a floured surface until very smooth and soft, 3 minutes. Roll into a 2-foot-long log; cut into 16 1 1/2-inch-long pieces. Knead each piece slightly and shape into a 7-inch-long breadstick; arrange 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a cloth; let rise in a warm spot until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make the topping: Brush the breadsticks with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bake until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the garlic powder and oregano. Brush the warm breadsticks with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with the flavored salt.

Creamy Tomato Soup

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Quick Post: As a kid, I hated tomato soup…but that was the condensed kind, so I had every right! 😉 Because of that bad experience, I have only recently tried tomato soup again. I was a little obsessed with Panera’s creamy tomato soup and adult grilled cheese, and decided that I needed to recreate that meal at home. This batch makes quite a lot of soup, but it freezes beautifully! My kids loved this and agree that I need to make it again 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Creamy Tomato Soup –

  • 2 TBSP olive oil or butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 – 28 ounce cans of whole peeled tomatoes (San Marzano or other good quality is best)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp. raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Parmesan cheese, optional

*Special Equipment – immersion blender, food processor or blender

Directions –

1. Heat up oil or butter in a medium stockpot over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic (if using), stirring constantly, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes, their juices, thyme and stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

3. Remove the thyme, and carefully puree the soup. ( I used my immersion blender in the pot, while using the pot lid as a shield 😉 It worked great!).

4. Whisk in cream; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with Parmesan if desired.

Sausage and Bean Soup with Pasta

Cooler weather always motivates me to make comforting meals, and what could be better than soup? This was so good and it made a huge batch – too bad we didn’t get to enjoy leftovers…the hubbs forgot to put the container in the fridge…and it stayed on the counter overnight…boo! I forgave him, of course 😉 There are worse things, I suppose. I once left a container of ice cream out on the counter overnight – don’t be like me! I remember the mess was thick, sticky, and a hassle to clean up! 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Sausage and Bean Soup with Pasta – adapted from The Italian Dish

  • 1 cup dried cannellini or cellini beans or 1 15-ounce can of any beans you like, drained
  • 1 pound ground sausage (*I used half hot, half mild Italian sausage*)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken broth (*I used 6 cups homemade chicken stock*)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, fresh if you have it
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta, or any small pasta
  • Parmigiano Reggiano rind (optional)
  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Directions –

If using dried beans, place them in a pot, cover with cold water and let soak for several hours or overnight. Drain.

In a large pot, brown the sausage.  Remove from pot.  If there is a lot of fat left in the pot, pour this out but do not wipe out pot.  Add onion, carrot and olive oil and saute for 2-3 minutes until soft.  Add garlic and saute about a minute more.   Add  the tomatoes, chicken broth, Parm rind, thyme, bay leaf, some salt and pepper and the drained beans and the sausage and cover the pot. Cook for an hour over low heat, at a gentle simmer.

If using dried beans, check for doneness at this point.  (If using canned beans, add the pasta now.)  If the beans are not soft enough, cover the pot again and cook for another 30 minutes or until the beans are soft. Add the pasta and cook, uncovered, until the pasta is tender.  Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste.  If the soup is too thick for your liking, add some more chicken broth.

Serve with grated cheese on top and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

Broccoli and Potato Soup

Quick Post: What do you do when the co-op only gives you a few potatoes and two broccoli crowns? You make soup for lunch, that’s what 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Broccoli and Potato Soup –

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 2 broccoli crowns, cut into florets
  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes, small dice
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 3 TBSP flour
  • nutmeg, freshly grated to taste
  • shredded cheddar cheese for topping

1. Place a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon butter. Sauté the onions and carrots until soft but still firm, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and set aside.

2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan and then whisk in the flour, cook for  1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the vegetable stock and the half and half to the pan, whisk constantly so that no lumps form – about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in nutmeg and stir. Cover and simmer {over medium-low} for 15 minutes.

3. Next, reduce heat to low and add in the onions, carrots, broccoli and potato. Add more vegetable stock if you feel the soup is too thick. Stir and cover to simmer for another 20-25 minutes.

4. Lastly, use a potato masher to break up the broccoli florets to desired size. Season generously {to taste} with kosher salt and black pepper. Serve immediately and top with cheddar cheese.