Since we would be spending most of the day outside, and there was a slight chill in the air, I decided to make a few soups for lunch & dinner. Apparently I was recreating OG endless soup & salad b/c the two soups I made are both on that menu.
First up I made Zuppa Toscano. I found the recipe over at Amber's Delectable Delights. I pretty much followed to recipe to a T, except that I already have some Italian Sausage cooked. So instead of crumble sausage, we had chunks. I wish I had caught that she mashed some of the potatoes b/c that would have made the consistency much better. Our was a little soupy & little oily. It was still delicious.
1 pound spicy Italian sausage - crumbled
1/2 pound smoked bacon - chopped
4 cups water
2, 14.5 ounce cans (about 3 2/3 cups) chicken broth
2 large russet potatoes - scrubbed clean, cubed
2 garlic cloves - peeled, crushed
1 medium onion - peeled, chopped
2 cups chopped kale OR Swiss chard --> I used Spinach
1 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper - to taste
1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausage, breaking into small pieces as you fry it; drain, set aside.
2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown bacon; drain, set aside.
3. Place water, broth, potatoes, garlic, and onion in a pot; simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender.
4. Add sausage and bacon to pot; simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add kale and cream to pot; season with salt and pepper; heat through.
I also made minestrone soup. I liked the recipe however, I would have liked more beans in it. I felt they were drown out by all the vegetables. I really liked the recipe because I was able to use some of the frozen vegetables from the garden.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chopped yellow squash
3 cups chopped zucchini
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears) --> I used canned corn
4 cups chopped tomato, divided
3 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/2 cup uncooked ditalini pasta (very short tube-shaped macaroni)
1 (15.5-ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
Coarsely ground black pepper (optional)
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until softened. Add oregano and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in squash, zucchini, carrot, and corn; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat.
Place 3 cups tomato and 1 can broth in a blender; process until smooth. Add tomato mixture to pan; return pan to heat. Stir in remaining 1 cup tomato and remaining 2 cans broth; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
Add pasta and beans to pan; cook 10 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Ladle soup into individual bowls; top with cheese. Garnish with coarsely ground black pepper, if desired.
This was a nice healthy option to the very unhealthy Zuppa Tuscano. For lunch we just had soup, but for dinner I added a tossed Italian Salad & breadsticks. The minestrone made a TON of soup. I froze about half it & we still had enough for 3 days of lunches for 2 people. The Zuppa made about half as much as the minestrone.