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Posts Tagged ‘soup’

When my younger son visits from Kentucky, he always has a list of favorites that I’m REQUIRED to make.  This soup I made on his last visit just made the “must have” list.  Hmm, pretty soon his visits will have to be a month long!

COPYCAT ZUPPA TOSCANA

We love the soup at Olive Garden and have been happy with this acceptable copycat recipe.

Serves : 6
Prep Time: 0:35

1 lb. hot/spicy Italian sausage – crumbled (I used Johnsonville brand)
1 – 3 oz package Oscar Mayer Smoked Bacon Bits – be CAREFUL not to pour the bacon bits in and let the little moisture packet fall in the soup! (or save your cooked bacon and add)
1 qt. water
(2) 14.5 oz. cans chicken broth (I used Swanson Organic Chicken broth in the 32 oz container – use all of it)
2 lg. russet (baking) potatoes – slice in half lengthwise and then slice into ¼ inch slices
2 garlic cloves – minced
1 med. onion – chopped (about 1/3 cup)
2 cups chopped kale (cut pieces slightly larger than would fit on a spoon.  Cut the leaves off the thicker part of the stem.  Discard stems.)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper – to taste (heavier on pepper – it doesn’t need much salt because of the bacon)

-In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausage, breaking into small pieces as you fry it; drain, set aside.
-Place water, broth, potatoes, garlic, and onion in a pot; simmer over medium high heat until potatoes are tender (about 10 minutes – don’t overcook because it will be cooking an additional 10 minutes).
-Add sausage and bacon back to pot; simmer for 10 minutes.  (Skim any fat off the top that you can.)
-Add kale and cream to pot; season with salt and pepper; heat through.  Don’t boil.

 

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Drain the grease after frying

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Boiling the onions in the broth

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Don’t let this little packet fall in!

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The finished product

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This is your goal!

Stormy weather and I start thinking comfort food! I made a huge batch of Albondigas (meatball soup) for my husband to take to work so his co-workers wouldn’t have to leave the building during the storms we’ve been having in San Diego this week.

I saw where a group of bloggers who visited Martha Stewart’s studios had eaten some Albondigas soup that was prepared by one of them. It looked good but frankly, I thought mine looked better. It’s a hearty, flavorful soup that always results in a request for my recipe. So here it is, for those of you who have been patient with me to write again…

Albondigas

First make Spanish Rice
(Lightly brown 1 cup long grain white rice in a little oil until rice turns whiter. Saute with onion until onion transparent. Add 1 8 oz can tomato sauce, 1 chicken bouillon cube and 1 ½ cup water, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on medium heat until all liquid is gone – about 15-20 minutes)

Let cool a few minutes.

Make stock for soup. Take 2 garlic cloves and saute in a little oil in a large 6 or 8 qt Dutch oven. Add one 16 oz. Can Hunt’s tomato sauce and fill the pot to within about 2 inches of the top (you need to leave room for the meatballs that you will be adding) with water. Chop 2 green onions and chop some cilantro and drop in the stock. Add 2 Tbsp chicken bouillon (Knorr sells the powder form in the Mexican food section) and bring to a boil. Remove the garlic cloves when it comes to a boil. While you are waiting for the stock to come to a boil, make the meatballs.

Meatballs:

1 ½ pounds hamburger (I use Costco’s)
¼ pkg Jimmy Dean REGULAR pork sausage
1 cup of the cooked Spanish rice (see above)
2 eggs, beaten
2 finely chopped green onions
chopped cilantro (equal in volume to the green onions)
salt & pepper

Gently mix all the ingredients by hand (mixing them too much makes them hard, so just mix enough to blend ingredients). Drop the meatballs into the BOILING stock, one by one (about 1 rounded teaspoon). Let the fat/foam come to the surface and skim off. When it looks like all the fat has risen (about 15-20 minutes), add ½ head chopped cabbage, chopped carrots (2 or 3) and (2 or 3) zucchini to the stock. I also love to add a diced chayote (a green vegetable with a seed-like center. Cut out the center and cube the rest, skin and all.) Let cook until vegetables are tender.

When I serve my soup, I usually put a big spoonful of rice in the bowl.

This is a double-batch...

Drop the meatballs in the boiling stock

Skim off the foam that rises to the top

Add the bite sized cabbage

Add the remaining vegetables, leaving the zucchini for last

That’s all there is to it!  Serve with a side of rice and tortillas.   Try it, you’ll like it!

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