When dreaming up ways to use up an abundance of kale, I came across this recipe and decided to come up with a drastically lower fat version and see what happened - it was delicious! The flavor came out extremely similar to the Zuppa Toscana at Olive Garden, which was always a favorite of mine! When it comes to substituting lower fat and calorie ingredients, experiment, but work with the knowledge you have of the flavors they will produce and what you actually want it to taste like. Some subs just don't cut it for me when cooking and baking!
Tuscan Kale Soup with Sausage and Potato // Serves 6
1 1/2 lb small red potatoes, sliced
3 links Italian turkey sausage (from a 1 lb 5-link pack)
1 medium onion, diced
Salt and pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 tsp dried oregano
2 c fat free chicken broth
1 can fat-free evaporated milk
Splash of half & half (optional)
1 bunch Tuscan kale
Place potatoes in medium pot and add water to just cover. Bring to boil and cook just until the edges are cooked and the center is still a little firm. Drain and set aside. ( **Time Tip // When cooking dinner the night before, or getting ready in the morning, cook your potatoes and store in fridge until you are ready to make your soup!)
Meanwhile, in a large pot, crumble the sausage and cook 1 - 2 minutes, then add onions and sprinkle with a little salt. Cook, breaking up the sausage, until it is browned and the onions are tender. Pour the evaporated milk into a liquid measure and add low-fat milk to make 2 cups; set aside.
Into the pot with the sausage, stir in the red pepper flakes, oregano, pepper, chicken broth, and evaporated milk mixture. Stir to combine and reduce heat; simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare kale by removing the tough ribs, washing and drying. Cut into bite size pieces and set aside; you should have about 4 cups.
Taste the soup and adjust seasonings as needed. Add the potatoes, the splash of half-and-half (if using), then stir in the kale. Simmer an additional 10-15 minutes to heat through and finish cooking the potatoes.
I served ours with a 'french toast' grilled cheese and they paired nicely, especially on a cold night! Of course, a salad probably would have made a nice accompaniment too, but I did save all those calories in the soup so...
Do you have a favorite 'copycat' recipe or one you want to try to recreate? It is so much fun to experiment in the kitchen, but when I am unsure of an outcome or I just want to try something new, I look for recipes or ingredients that aren't too expensive. This way, I am testing something out, but it's not a total loss if it just didn't turn out that great!
I challenge you to try something new this week - recipe or ingredient - and have fun!
With a full heart and an empty plate -