Kale Soup with a Twist

This is my first time making a soup from scratch for the purpose of dinner. What is initially funny about this meal prep is that is starts like most meals I make for the first time…..it gets bigger and bigger as I go since I don’t take the time to measure my ingredients. Now my goal is that this soup will be the dinner for tonight, lunch for some days and the in between snack for the kids this week. If this works as planned, I may have to add a soup to the weekly meal plan from now on.

I first heard about and tasted this soup from a coworker of mine who made it for her family and brought some for lunch the next day. She let me try a little and it was amazing. Now she used spicy pork sausage in her soup which was good but wouldn’t work in my house. So once I decided to add this soup to the meal plan I knew I was going to have to change a few things.

One, the spiciness had to go and two I needed to substitute the protein as I am on a plan of removing pork from my family’s diet. Now I will say this is extremely hard as we love bacon in this house and turkey bacon will NEVER substitute for the real thing, but I know that pork is not healthy for you in any way and I want to provide the best diet for my family as possible. I admit I still cheat now and then, but overall the mental goal is there and after all, that is all that counts right???!!!?? Ok back to the soup.

Since I couldn’t use pork, I thought chicken sausage would be a great substitute. Let me take you back to yesterday when I bought the chicken sausage so you can see how this maneuver turned into an epic fail.  We are at the grocery store, all five of us in 2 carts, and we get to the sausage section.  To the right are all of the options of sausage and to the left is a vendor giving out sausage samples. Now many moms I am sure have experienced this thought process.

“Great Sausage over here, come on over and try some, great flaovrs” says the vendor. I think to myself, Hmmmmmm sure I would love to try some but I better not. “um no thanks, I say”. Enter the kids….

Mom I‘m soooo hungry (Malia)

Mommy can we please try one (Jordan)

Excuse me sir can I have a hot dog (Myles)…..

OMG! Stop it! Stop! Stop Talking….. is all I could think of !! I just knew everyone in the store was looking at these begging children who I’m sure they assumed don’t get feed. Oh quite the contrary my dear spectators. I am embarrassed!!. Is it just me that has a love hate relationship with food vendors in the grocery store. On the one hand you want to try it, but then you will have to get one for all of the kids and then quickly walk away because you KNOW they will ask for more and beg and beg and scream and all that great stuff.

So I give the kids the look that says if you don’t hush right now you already know…. Thankfully they hushed. But it doesn’t end there. I turn back to the options as I am looking for chicken sausage, something I never buy so I have no clue where they are shelved. It just so happens that I have stopped right in front of the brand the vendor is representing. Here he comes again, “Ma’am its great, come on over for a sample, or just grab the package that’s right there in front of you.. right there to your right”.  I look over my shoulder and bluntly ask “do you have chicken sausage?” “Oh .. no, it’s beef in pork casing” he replies. I smile, say thank you, grab the first chicken sausage packet I see and high tail it out of that section. Only to find out when I get home and cook up some for dinner, it has cheese in it…. This is not what I wanted at all… Thanks sausage dude.

Well as you can guess that chicken sausage was not going to work in the recipe. Thankfully I bought a backup turkey sausage and that’s what I ended up using.

Now there are plenty of recipes out there and usually I don’t mind following a recipe but when I realize I don’t have all of the ingredients and I will need to improvise, the recipe goes right out the window. I will read over it once to see that basic principal and steps they give but that’s about it. So sorry for any that are reading this for that reason, I recommend you look up a recipe online to follow. Pioneer Woman has one I found out. Ok here we go:

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I started out by sautéing my sausage in some canola oil since turkey sausage doesn’t yield that much fat.

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Then I added the onions to the mix.

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While those were cooking I began on the potatoes. I used red potatoes simply because I like them, no other reason really.  Left the skin on and diced them thinly. I cut a few bigger chunks, but the majority of them were thin as I wanted them to break apart to thicken the liquid.

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Now it’s time to season. Looked into the cabinet and its just sad. I was literally out of so many seasoning. Time to improvise. I found some beef seasoning that had spices that I would normally have used in this meal so I figured what the heck, it won’t hurt. Into the pot went this spice blend, fresh garlic and pepper.

 

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Next it was time to add the Kale. Now my intention was to add the whole bag but clearly that wasn’t going to happen in this pot.

!

I ended up having to transfer pots. This is the part I talked about earlier when my meal gets bigger and bigger as I make it.

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Now in a new pot I figured ¾ of the Kale was enough. I didn’t want the kale ratio to liquid to be off. I added some heavy cream and butter, well a lot of butter- can’t hurt right.

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Now almost all of the recipes call for chicken broth, the one thing I did not have. Here is where the twist comes in. LEFTOVERS. I had the breast and bone of a left over whole chicken that I made a few days ago with some lentils. Into the pot they all went.

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The way I see it, the chicken will add the flavor the chicken broth would have and the lentils would basically cook down to nothing so they can’t hurt anything.

There you have my Kale Potato Sausage Soup with a Twist.

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It turned out great and the kids ate it up. Who knew a soup for dinner could be so filling and success with the family! Truly happy with this meal!

Happy Cooking!

Love Out Numbered

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