Sausage & Kale Soup

Happy NEW Year! A new year brings such excitement, promise, and new adventures. Each year I take time to review my goals from the year before and create new goals to guide me. This year I went through a process to find a word that encompasses my goals. My word this year is PURPOSEFUL. One of my goals is being purposeful with my blog. I want to share my recipes, my heart, and encourage you along the way. My goal is to blog at least every two weeks. So I’m a little off to begin the year. I give myself forgiveness and know that I have been purposeful in other aspects of my life: spending every moment soaking up time with my sister and niece while they were visiting, taking care of little one with pneumonia, adjusting back to an alarm and school routine, and threw in a few dates and a getaway with Chris.

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I wanted to start this year by sharing this yummy soup my sister, Lesley, shared with me. This year I rang in the new year surrounded by friends and my family. My sister and niece joined us for the celebration all the way from Texas. The following week, Lesley and I shared a lot of time in the kitchen. Our new, improved, and beautiful kitchen creates great space for sharing life. We are there all the time. This Sausage Kale Soup was shared and enjoyed on a cold, relaxing evening. It has instantly become a favorite. Not only was it yummy for dinner but I enjoyed it for lunch the following two days. Lesley says that it is just as terrific if you make ahead, freeze, and serve later. Plus it has KALE!! I can’t get enough of that green stuff. This soup screams to be made for a family with a new baby, a friend who has had a bad day, or just a simple “thinking of you” meal. Bless those around you this year. Look for reasons to Sing and Dance in your kitchen.
Looking Forward- Amanda

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Complete Happiness in a Bowl

Sausage Kale Soup

1 T olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lb Italian sausage, remove casting
1 lb red potatoes, sliced thin circles
1 bunch kale, trimmed, chopped, stems removed
8 cups of chicken broth
1 c dry white wine
1 t crushed red pepper (use less if you don’t want it too spicy)
1/3 c heavy cream
3/4 shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil, onions, and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then add the sausage. Brown sausage and crumble into smaller pieces. Once the sausage is ready, add potatoes, kale, chicken broth, wine and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Stir completely then reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. When ready to serve, stir in the cream and parmesan cheese. Serve in individual bowls topped with parmesan cheese and red pepper. Delicious with warm bread.

Tex-Mex Tortilla Soup

It’s not cold in ATL today but in my Texas hometown, they are welcoming lots of snow. Snow and cold weather makes me want soup. Here’s a little Tex-Mex Tortilla Soup I made a few weeks ago. You probably have most items on hand already. This soup was different from my go-to Tortilla Soup because of the yummy rice and black beans. Everyone needs options! Enjoy and stay warm! -Amanda

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Tex-Mex Tortilla Soup

3 T olive oil, divided
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
1 small white onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup black olives, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 + 1/2 t chile powder
1 t dried Mexican oregano
1/2 t dried thyme
15 oz canned black beans, drained
1/2 cup uncooked long or medium-grain brown rice, rinsed well in a wire strainer with cold water
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup salsa
Optional Toppings:
sliced avocados
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
sour cream
tortilla chips

In a large soup pan, heat 1 T of oil over medium heat. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan, stirring often so all sides get browned. Remove and set aside.
Add 2 T of oil to a soup pot over medium-low heat. Sauté the onion, pepper, garlic, and olives together for 5 minutes. Add a little pepper and stir often. Mix in the chile powder, oregano, thyme, black beans, and rice, cook 3 minutes. Stir the chicken back into the pot and add the broth and salsa. Bring to a simmer and cook 30 minutes. Stir often. Add seasonings to taste. (OR add to crock pot and keep on low until ready to dinner.)
Serve with toppings like, cheese, sour cream, sliced avocado, and tortilla chips if desired.

Minestrone Soup

Soup weather!  You know what I’m talking about.  The kind of weather that you can’t wait to get in your jammies and call it a day.  Well, our last rainy day called for minestrone soup.  It takes a little time to prepare but then you will have plenty of time to be lazy.  Serve it with warm, garlic bread to complete the goodness.  Feel free to experiment with veggies and noodles.  Stay dry and warm! -Amanda

Minestrone Soup

 

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 pound pancetta or thick-cut prosciutto, finely chopped

1 lb. zucchini, cut into strips lengthwise, then cut into small pieces

2 ribs celery, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

2 bay leaves

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

32 ounces  (4 cups) chicken stock

16 ounces (2 cups) chicken broth

15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed

15 ounce can  tomato puree

1/4 lb. whole wheat penne or other short-cut pasta

Handful basil, torn into pieces

About 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano

In a soup pot, heat the EVOO, over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until browned, a couple of minutes. Add the zucchini, celery, onion, bay leaves and 2 cloves garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 7 to 8 minutes.

Stir the chicken stock and broth, beans and tomatoes into the soup and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Stir in the basil and lower the heat to low.

Serve soup in bowls and top with parmigiano cheese.  Add warm, garlic bread to complete the meal. This soup is thick and full of stuff.  Feel free to add a little more chicken broth to thin out the soup.

Chicken Noodle Soup

A classic Chicken Noodle Soup has healing powers (at least we think so).  Full of yummy chicken and big noodles, it is sure to warm you up and fill your tummy.

Keep Stirring!- Amanda

Look at all those noodles!

Chicken Noodle Soup 

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cut into cubes

5 celery stalks, chopped

1/2 white onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 T butter, divided

2- 32 oz. chicken broth (99% fat free)

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

8 oz wide egg noodles

Brown chicken in skillet, add pepper* for taste.  In a large soup pan, sauté onions, celery, and garlic in 2 T of butter until tender.  Add chicken broth, bay leaves, and remaining butter.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for at least 15 minutes.  Then bring to boil again.  Once the soup is boiling, add the noodles.  Stir occasionally until noodles are cooked (about 7 minutes).  Remove bay leaves before serving.  We usually garnish our soup with oyster soup crackers.  Great as leftovers too.

*I season with Fiesta Brand fajita seasoning- straight from Texas.  A great cook and friend, Tita, taught me to use this seasoning to spice up chicken and beef.  Thanks, Tita!

Tuscan Lentil Soup

Soup is on, again!  In our home if the weather outside is cold, we want soup.  Our Tuscan Lentil Soup has been played with for a few years.  We add a little Tabasco to give it the correct hit.  Plus you are eating LENTILS, the super food.  Do yourself a favor and research lentils.  You may be surprised about all the goodness in this tiny powerhouses.  Today we enjoyed our soup with warm white corn bread.
Keep Stirring! -Amanda

Look at those Lentils

Tuscan Lentil Soup 

16 oz lentils

3 T olive oil

1 lb. Italian sausage, rolled into 1/2 inch balls

1 medium white onion, chopped

4 stalks of celery, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

8 cups beef broth

1 can diced tomatoes

1/2 t salt

1/2 t thyme

1/2 t Tabasco

1/2 t red pepper

1/2 t black pepper

In a large soup pot, heat oil.  Add and brown sausage balls.  Drain sausage and use paper towels for excess grease.  Now sauté onions, celery, and garlic in soup pot until tender.  Add lentils, sausage, tomatoes, beef broth, and seasonings.  Bring it all to a boil, reduce, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Can be made in crock pot.  The second day the spices really come out but is not as visually appealing. (I warned you!)