Soup–er Sunday

Best way to spend the rainy Sunday immediately following your return from a sunny vacation? Making tons and tons of soup.

I decided on two types: sausage/red potato/kale and a lemony-garlic chicken and vegetable. Both done in mega quantities and based on a handful if recipes.
Side note: thank you to ShopRite for making my groceries magically appear in my kitchen the afternoon I got home.

The first soup: sweet Italian sausage, chicken broth, kale, sliced red potatoes.
First I sliced about six red potatoes and tossed them in boiling water. I started off looking at a recipe that called for a dozen with only four cups of chicken broth; um, no thank you.

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While those are boiling, brown up that (uncased/bulk) Italian sausage, attempt to crumble it as best you can. Toss in some minced garlic. Add chicken broth (it was more than a gallon of homemade broth from my freezer, I didn’t measure sorry). Then came my secret weapon: the old rind from a hunk of Parmesan cheese. YUM. This will flavor your broth so well.
I added some almond milk, because all the recipes call for cream or whole milk and I’m lactose intolerant in this apartment.

Let that cook for 30 mins or so, covered on low. Then add the potatoes back and the kale.

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Cover and cook some more, then eat when you’re sick of waiting.

The vegetable and chicken soup was less complicated.
I drizzled oil in my giant pot, throw in garlic and whatever vegetables on hand. I used zucchini, carrots, frozen corn, and fresh baby spinach. Add lemon zest and juice. Let it simmer, covered, for as long as you want.

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Add in some shredded chicken and eat.
I always cheat on this part, I use rotisserie chickens which you can buy on the cheap when they’re a day old and in the fridge section instead of hot. Then use the bones for your next batch of broth!

Freeze or refrigerate leftovers.

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My plan is to portion out some of each and freeze, to be enjoyed on future rainy days.

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Angelic Alfredo

I was determined to transform fettucini Alfredo into a lighter, healthier dish. And I pat myself on the back for a serious success.

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I started with these (organic, happy) chicken breasts. Browned on both sides and then in the oven at 350° with a dash of Italian seasoning and paprika. I’ve gotten much better at timing, using the oven is part of that strategy!

20140310-204502.jpg In a separate pan brown up way too much pancetta. Once that’s crispy remove and let it crisp up on a paper towel. Snack a bit then proceed.

20140310-204704.jpg in that pancetta pan cook up as much minced up garlic as you would please.

20140310-204759.jpg once your kitchen smells like garlic and you’re drooling, add diced zucchini and peas. Cook that goodness until the zucchini is starting to soften. Now this is where the magic starts.
Add about a cup of chicken broth.

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Remember that chicken in the oven? Pull it, chop it, and add it to the pan to finish cooking and absorb the goodness.

20140310-205055.jpg Now it all gets so good so fast.

20140310-205335.jpg Add plain Greek yogurt.

20140310-205404.jpg And Parmesan cheese.

20140310-205453.jpg Spinach seemed like a good idea at this point.

20140310-205528.jpg Meld it all together with lots of stirring, then plate over pasta. Top with pancetta.

It was cheesy, without being gloppy or heavy. Seriously delicious.

Easy Omelette

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Spinach, mushroom, pepper jack cheese omelette.

Easiest way to have an omelette every morning? Chop up all the veggies ahead of time, and for the cheese use cheese sticks or string cheese to limit your portion without having to measure. Then put it all in a pan and I promise you’ll have a hot breakfast in about as much time as you would normally spend foraging in the pantry for cereal.

Heavy Heart

Does hearty have to be heavy? This dinner was what I call hearty, spicy sausage, thickly cut veggies but wasn’t necessarily heavy.

20140305-183157.jpg I put the gorgeous hot Italian sausage in a hot skillet. Once browned quickly I popped it in the oven at 350°.

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Baby Bella mushrooms, a small onion, and thickly sliced zucchini.

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I cooked these on low in a pan with olive oil, I smidgen of butter, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. I didn’t want any heavy flavors battling with the sausage.
Then I plated everything together and topped with a hearty helping of asiago.

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Proof that hearty doesn’t need to be heavy?