Mar 21, 2011

Zuppa Toscana Soup and Kale Chips

I love Zuppa Toscana soup. The last time I ordered it at Olive Garden I thought, "I want to make this." So I looked it up online and found a lot of recipes posted.  They were all similar, and just what I thought: sausage, potatoes, bacon, kale, chicken stock, and a little cream.  I used this recipe.  One difference is that I used red potatoes, which worked great.  I chopped the potatoes first, so they could start cooking in the pot with the seasonings and chicken stock. While that was cooking, I started on the meat.

I heard a great trick on Rachael Ray the other day. She talked about cooking bacon in the oven on a roasting pan or cooling rack. I just put it in the oven at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes, and didn't have to fuss over it on the stove. I turned out great! Using the roasting pan allowed the bacon to cook evenly and all the fat drained to the bottom.  I cooked the bacon in the oven while I browned the sausage on the stove.

Then I chopped the bacon and kale and added the bacon to the pot with the sausage.

After 10 min, I added the kale and heavy cream.

That's it! It was delicious. It tasted just like at the restaurant.  Actually, a little better. ;)

With some of the kale I had left, I tried making kale chips.  Sounds weird, but they're really tasty. I got the recipe from smitten kitchen, which is a great website. Basically, you tear the kale into pieces, toss it with olive oil and salt, and bake at 300 for 10-20 min.  It's a little tricky, though. My first batch burned and was too salty.  The second batch was just right.  If you're leery, let me tell you that my veggie-hating husband loved these!

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