Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)


Soup's on!

I really can't complain too much about the weather around here, compared to what the rest of the country is dealing with...but it has been much greyer and damper than it usually is in this area...so, it kind of felt like a soup day today. 

My go-to soup is a copy cat of the Zuppa Toscana you can get at Olive Garden while I know I have talked about making it before, I can't find that I have ever shared the recipe.

Brown and crumble up one pound of sausage.  Italian works, but I actually prefer one of the spicy country sausages. 

Crisp up 1/2 pound of diced bacon.  I sometimes prep the meat the next day.  You want to drain these well, so you don't end up with too much fat floating in your soup.

In a big pan, throw in half a diced onion, and garlic...say three cloves worth.  Then add some potatoes...quarter-inch spoon sized slices, and top the whole thing with a quart of chicken stock.  Bring it to a boil, and add in your meats and a half-teaspoon of pepper flakes.  When your potatoes have softened, turn the heat down to low, and add in a bundle of chopped kale(pull the tasty stuff off the center stalk...and give that untasty part to your chickens.)

It should only take about 10 minutes to heat the kale, and then add in a pint of heavy cream(I use half-and-half).  If you are trying to cut calories, you could skip this step, but it does improve the mouth feel.

Of course, fresh soup needs some nice bread to go with it.  After watching Chef's Country Kitchen do potato rolls, I thought I would tackle some of them today...but I'll admit I looked for an easier recipe than they showed.  I can't imagine their fancy recipe tasting any better.
As it almost always seemed to do, my dough came out a bit sticky, which was a bummer, because it felt fine when I took it out of the mixer, but it got sticky while it raised.  As a result, instead of 16 rolls, I had a smaller number of mini-loaves...but the flavor was not adversely effected in the least, although my wife recommend adding some rosemary next time.

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