Off-The-Bus Zuppa Toscana

Off-The-Bus Zuppa Toscana

Hello hello! (Caroline speaking)

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I asked our Facebook page a couple days ago if anyone would be interested in my Zuppa Toscana recipe, and there was a resounding “yes” – so here it is!

I like to call it “Off-The-Bus Zuppa Toscana” because (as some of you may know) myself, the hubs, and our two adorable husky pups, packed up in a little bus we call Henrietta and made an adventurous cross-country move! We found a dreamy little farm property to rent, but there were some kinks that needed to be fixed prior to us moving in, so our bus occupancy was extended another month (and then some).

While it was fun, and I love love love that we did it, I was ready for a house. Ready to settle in and have a real home again – kudos to those “van-lifers” out there, I just don’t think I could do it full time! One of the first things I made once I was back in a real kitchen was a huge vat of hearty and delicious Zuppa Toscana. I love it because it’s filling, and has potatoes, and a little cream, but it’s mostly broth based so it’s not too terribly rich (like a chowder would be).

Without further ado, here’s my preferred recipe!

Off-The-Bus Zuppa Toscana // serves 4-6 (give or take leftovers, depending on how often the fam goes for seconds)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound spicy Italian sausage

1 large onion, chopped

2 pounds red potatoes, washed (peel off bruises or eyes, but I like leaving skin on for the most part) and sliced very thin

4 to 6 cups low sodium chicken broth (feel it out, it’s all up to how brothy you like it)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups half and half

3 cups kale, chopped

Instructions:

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add sausage and use a potato masher to really ground it all up and cook evenly. Saute for 4 to 6 minutes, then drain any excess grease. Turn heat down to medium, add onion and cook for another 3 minutes, then add in potatoes, broth, and spices.

Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat down to low and cook for 20 to 30 minutes (or until potatoes are fork tender). Stir in cream and kale, once kale has wilted some (just about 1 to 2 minutes) go ahead and serve!

FFT – Another Look at New Year Resolutions

Food For Thought

Another Look at New Year Resolutions

by Leanne Ely, CNC

Tradition dictates that every January 1st we make an impossible list of things we want to change or improve in the new year. Some of the popular ones include losing weight, getting organized and doing better financially.

So how can you get those goals met this year? By being realistic and being specific, that’s how. Here’s a quick 4 step way to do it:

1) Instead of “I don’t want to be overweight,” opt for “I want to exercise regularly” or “I will cut down on my snacking.”

2) Break down large goals into smaller ones. For instance, commit to losing weight by resolving to join a gym and improve your eating habits. As FlyLady says, “BabySteps!”

3) Find alternatives to a behavior that you want to change, and make this part of your resolution plan. So you want to quit snacking but you snack to relax? Figure out what else relaxes you and do that instead.

4) Keep your mindset simple by aiming for things that are truly important to you, not what you think you ought to do or what others expect of you.

Here’s a healthy soup recipe to get you on your way to success in 2011.
Cheers!

Smashing Pumpkin Soup
(from Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely – Ballantine)
Serves 6

1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups pumpkin puree (sometimes called 100% pumpkin NOT PUMPKIN PIE FILLING)
3/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a soup pot, heat oil over medium high heat and saute onions. Cook ’til very soft and add remaining ingredients, except milk. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Add milk and continue to cook (but not boil–it will break) for another 5 minutes.

Per Serving: 131 Calories; 6g Fat; 7g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 11mg Cholesterol; 553mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 1 Fat.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: A huge spinach salad and whole grain rolls is all you need.

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FFT - Another Look at New Year Resolutions
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