Kale And Italian Sausage Soup

As kids, we probably were all subjected to the same, endless spiel about how you’re supposed to eat green, leafy vegetables. I heard it at home and in school…on and on and on….

Kale is one of those leafy, green vegetables loaded with numerous vitamins and minerals that’s all good for your health. You can classify this vegetable into the “worth eating” category of vegetables. But, it would fit well into the “great tasting” category too.

Kale has a pleasing, earthy flavor that satisfies my craving for the green, leafy Ilocano vegetables my mother used to have around all the time.

I was copying a soup called Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden, minus the heavy cream for a lighter version. The greens in their soup is something called “cavolo greens” which I found comes from the same Brassica oleracea kind of vegetables as Kale. I have difficulty sourcing Italian vegetables and greens (even flat-leaf parsley!) here in Colorado Springs, so I substituted Kale for my soup.

It’s an easy and quick dish that’s perfect for a light lunch. I’ve made this soup a regular at our home, both for the health benefits from the Kale and for its flavorful goodness.

Try it with cream, and try it without…either way, this is a good and healthy soup everyone will like. Continue reading “Kale And Italian Sausage Soup”

Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup


Lovely weather we’re having in Colorado…light snow and single-digit cold since yesterday and into the middle of next week!  Perfect night for a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup.

My recipe is based on Jeff Smith’s Chicken and Noodles from “The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American” cookbook.  It’s a lovely, comforting soup with thyme and sage.  Like a lot of old-fashioned, good recipes, this one will take a lot of time to prepapre and cook.  If you have the energy, make a double batch of noodles and keep it in the freezer.  It will take almost as much time to make half a batch or double the batch. Continue reading “Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup”

Indonesian Oxtail Soup

Sop Buntut is one of those favorite Indonesian dishes of mine, which I have never tried to cook before.  Now that I have this blog,  I thought it would be a good idea to to try cooking Indonesian dishes.  I lived for a very short time in Jakarta years ago and experienced real culture shock soon as I stepped out of the plane.  Even if I was in still in Asia, things were so vastly different from the Philippines.  The sights, the smells, the food….ohhh the food.

Several countries, have their own version of an oxtail dish.  Most of them are heavy, rich stews.  I’ve tried the South African Oxtail Potjie which my mother learned from a friend.  The Italians have several versions.  Then of course, there’s the Philippine Kare-kare, another rich stew with vegetables and a ground, toasted rice and peanut sauce.  Sop Buntut is different in many ways, it’s a soup and not a stew for one thing.  And it has aromatic spices like nutmeg and cloves that gives it different layers of flavor. Continue reading “Indonesian Oxtail Soup”

Pasta Fazool

Two years ago, Stepson gave us “A Goomba’s Guide to Life” by Steven R. Schiripa.  Schiripa is better known as Bobby Bacala of HBO’s The Sopranos.  Spouse and I  really enjoyed that book and the show. Since Spouse grew up in New Jersey and his grandparent’s and parent’s last home was just a few blocks from where the Sopranos’ pork store, Satriale’s,  is located (Kearny Avenue Kearny, NJ), you really can’t fault us for being big fans of this show.

The book also has some common Italian-American recipes, some of which  I’ve tried.  One of my favorites is  Pasta Fazool or as they call it in proper Italian, Pasta E Fagioli – noodles and beans.  It’s an Italian comfort food that’s rich tasting and easy to prepare.  The combination of beans and pasta is very healthy because of the complex carbohydrates and proteins of the main ingredients.

Pasta Fazool is actually a soup, but Spouse likes it more like a stew.  I like mine topped with extra virgin olive oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese. The olive oil HAS to be extra virgin to bring out the very earthy flavors of the beef, the basil and the beans.  This is a meal in itself….perfect for a cold winter evening.  I like my Pasta Fazool with crusty Italian bread, red wine followed by a simple green salad of  arugula and mushrooms with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.  Not bad for Tuesday dinner.

Next time you’re in a hurry and want something warm and comforting for dinner, try this recipe. Continue reading “Pasta Fazool”