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Happy 2013! We made it to a new year, providing a great opportunity to do a month of recipe remakes. With all the makeovers of bodies, finances and schedules attempted this season I thought why not redo some classic dishes we all enjoy? An easy way to apply any resolutions made to continue, or start your healthy lifestyle journey. So, follow along this entire month for tools and tips to make your healthy goals a reality! (Without sacrificing flavor of course – that’s always a requirement of mine you know.)

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Because it’s winter, let’s begin this adventure with a soup inspired from a favorite Italian restaurant chain menu. Adapted from the Pioneer Woman’s Sausage, Potato & Kale Soup here is my version with added white beans for extra protein, fiber and low cal filling.

Healthy cooking tip #1: Reduce the amount of meat in a recipe or bulk it up with the addition of beans; they are lean, mean fighting machines (or tasty nutritious fillers). Lean turkey or chicken sausage and reduced fat milk add to the renovation of this steamy bowl of goodness.

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The original recipe adapted from PW’s at home version of Olive Garden’s “Zuppa Toscana” serves 12, each serving ringing in at 430 calories, 27g fat and 12g sat fat. Delicious remake stats (same serving size) of my Tuscan Sausage, Kale & White Bean Soup came in at 260 calories, 8g fat and 3.5g sat fat. Again, I repeat no flavor was lost in the transformation, just waist enlarging calories.

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Go ahead, now you can have your “Zuppa Toscana” at home and eat it too! (Gluten-free adaptations below.)

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TUSCAN SAUSAGE, KALE & WHITE BEAN SOUP
serves 12

• 2 tsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN
• 1 medium ONION, chopped
• 1.5 lbs LEAN ITALIAN TURKEY or CHICKEN SAUSAGE*
• 1.5 lbs SMALL RED POTATOES, sliced
• 10 cups KALE (2 small or 1 large bunch)
• 1/2 tsp OREGANO, dried
• 1/2 tsp CRUSHED RED PEPPER (optional or to taste)
• SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
• 3 cloves GARLIC, minced (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
• 3 cups CHICKEN BROTH, LOW SODIUM*
• 1/2 cup RESERVED POTATO COOKING LIQUID
• 5 1/2 cup MILK, REDUCED FAT 2% (organic if possible)
• 1/2 cup HALF & HALF (organic if possible)*
• 15 oz WHITE NORTHERN or CANNELLINI BEANS (1 can rinsed & drained)

*Gluten-free option: Use GF * ingredients

1. Boil sliced potatoes (cut into about ¼” thick slices), with enough water to cover, in a medium pot with a little salt. Cook until just tender, reserve 1/2cup cooking liquid, and then drain in a colander.
2. In a large soup pot sauté chopped onion in 2 t. olive oil until softened. Add ground turkey or chicken sausage (if using links remove casing), cook until browned.
3. Stir in 1/2 t. dried oregano, 1/2 t. crushed red pepper, kale (cleaned, stems removed and torn into bite sized pieces), sea salt and pepper. Pour in 3 cups chicken broth, 1/2 cup potato water, 5 1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup half and half, bring to a low boil. Add cooked potatoes and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Before serving add additional salt, pepper or herbs as needed and white beans. Garnish with fresh shaved or shredded parmesan cheese. Serves 12, about 1 1/2 cups per serving.

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VARIATIONS: Add other vegetables like chopped carrots, spinach or red bell pepper. Try shredded cooked chicken breasts or lean ground turkey for sausage.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 260 calories, 9g fat, 3.5g sat fat, 40mg, 28g carb, 4g fiber, 7g sugar, 17g protein

PRINT RECIPE – PDF

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