Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Zuppa Toscana with Yogurt Cinnamon Muffins

Yum! Just the title makes me hungry! :)

Here is a link to the soup...  Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana
All right, for the soup I mixed things up a bit.  When I cook I like to do it by eye.  If it looks like I want more meat, potatoes, water... you name it... whatever it is I will add more, less or whatever makes me feel good.  Good way to follow recipes, hu? Anyways, I will show you how I adjusted the recipe and I must admit, it turned out pretty good! 
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • 4 Tbsp bacon pieces
  • 2 tsp garlic puree
  • 10 cups water
  • 5 cubes of chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
  • ¼ of a bunch of kale
  1. Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
  2. In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
  3. Add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
  4. Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
  5. Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
  6. Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve. Delicious!

** I used 1lb of Italian sausage, like it says, but I used about 2 generous tsp of peppers. When I make it again I will definitely use less pepper flakes due to the fact I felt like a dragon afterwards. Plus, my family isn't exactly fond of hot stuff.  I'd say maybe a generous 1 1/2 tsp would still pack the heat.    I used 1 large diced white onion, a VERY generous 4 T of bacon pieces and also 2 generous tsp of fresh garlic. For the bacon I would suggest frying it well before adding the onions and also cutting it into small pieces.  If you don't fry the bacon before hand it makes it slightly mushy while eating.   I used about 7-8 cups of water instead of the 10.  I used 4 generous tsp of chicken bouillon.  I used the whole cup of heavy cream and also 3 large potatoes.  I used a little over 1/2 a bunch of kale. Also, I put the kale in shortly after I put the potatoes in so that it would have time to soften.  I'm not particularly found of crispy kale in my soup. 


Here is the book that has the muffin recipe in it... Mad about Muffins

Here is the recipe for the muffins:

  • 2 cups minus two tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 Heat oven to 400 degrees.   In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and salt.  In a large bowl, combine the egg, yogurt, butter, and vanilla extract.  Beat together until blended.  Add the dry ingredients and stir just until they are moistened.  Fill greased muffin tins.  Bake 10- 15 minutes or until the muffins are lightly browned.  Serve warm.  Makes one dozen muffins.

* I doubled my recipe when I made it.  Very good, especially if you put some butter and honey on it.  :) YUM!

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