Sausage and Kale Soup

IMG_0398We have had some unusually warm weather the last few weeks- sunny and 60 degrees. It makes for wonderful hiking and golfing weather but not so great for the mountains trying to make snow. Then, last Saturday morning I woke up to this….IMG_0303I’m like… are you freakin’ kidding me? I don’t have clue where my winter boots and warm jackets are! I was just walking around in shorts and a T-shirt yesterday- now I have to deal with this? Don’t get me wrong, I am pretty excited for ski season and winter to get here but can’t there be some kind of gradual transition? All or nothing seems a little harsh. Anywho! With the cold weather and snow I decided it was time to pull out the soup recipes.

I love me some warm soup on a cold day- for lunch or for dinner its a great way to warm up without having to spend too much time cooking. Throw it all in the pot, et voila- dinner is done! Kale is one of my favorite greens to make salads with in the summer months, its so crisp and full of vitamins. Adding some fresh kale gives the soup a delicious flavor and brings some color into the mix. A little spicy Italian sausage and tender potatoes all topped off with creamy Parmesan cheese- yup, we’ve got a winner!! Oh and did I mention its gluten free? Even better! Serve it up with some crispy bread (not gluten free.. but delicious) and enjoy!

IMG_0399Sausage and Kale Soup (Click for printer friendly version)

(Serves 6-8)


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage
  • 1 pound small new potatoes, sliced into thin circles
  • 1 bunch of kale, trimmed and chopped (ribs removed)
  • 1 8oz container Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 cups (64oz) chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more depending on your spice tolerance)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat a large saucepot over medium heat and add the oil, onions and garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes, then add the sausage to the pot. Brown the sausage and break it apart with a wooden spoon into small pieces until it is cooked through.
  2. Once the sausage is brown, add the potato slices, chopped kale, mushrooms, chicken stock, wine, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Once the potatoes are tender it’s ready.
  3. When ready to serve, stir in the cream and Parmesan cheese (if you do this step too early the cream will curdle) Then taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve in bowls garnished with extra Parmesan cheese and fresh bread. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from A Spicy Perspective


Mushroom-Barley Soup for the end of the world

According to the weather man tomorrow night the Eastern Seaboard from New York to Maine is going to shut down, as they are predicted to get 2 feet of snow…. um yeah. I’ve heard gas stations are running low on fuel and schools have closed before a single flake of snow has fallen. Nothing is better then some hearty soup on a snow day (besides a little Baileys in your hot chocolate or just more Baileys in your Baileys, but who’s counting). At least I’ve got a glass of fresh Limoncello to calm me down. This is one of my mom’s favorite soup recipes and as I am home in CT (the war zone) we decided to make it together. Barley makes this soup healthy and filling.

Fresh and dried mushrooms make the broth super flavorful and rich. It’s the perfect meal on its own or pairs with a sandwich, salad or main course too! Double the recipe and freeze some for the next blizzard of the century. You’ll definitely enjoy this soup and we all know you’ll have the time to cook it because if work hasn’t already been canceled for you, I know you’ll be calling in “sick.” Happy snow day everyone!

Mushroom-Barley Soup


  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
  • 2 medium carrots (5 1/2-6 ounces), trimmed, peeled and thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion (4 ounces), peeled and very thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 6 ounces domestic mushrooms, washed and very thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • about 1 ounce dried mushrooms (1/2 cup), crushed into small pieces in a mini-chop or with a mortar and pestle
  • 2 cups white chicken stock or lower-salt canned chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (adjust if canned broth is used)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Place the barely in a sauce pan with 3 cups of the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, reduce the eat to low and boil very gently for 50 to 60 minutes. The barely should be tender but not mushy. set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. add the carrots and onion and cook over high heat for 1 minute.
  3. Add the domestic mushrooms, dried mushrooms, stock or broth and the remaining 2 cups water.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and boil gently for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the pepper, salt and barley with its liquid.
  6. Bring back to a boil. Stir in parsley.

Original recipe from Jacques Pepin’s Simple and Healthy Cooking.