Soup for the Win!

Spring time = Busy Sport Season for Families

Are you trying to figure out how to feed your family a healthy meal while shuffling your kids to their various sports?

Don’t reach for the fast food.  Think Soup!  You can make it ahead of time, scoop up a bowl pre-game, post-game or even bring it to the game in a thermos and enjoy while you are watching the game.

The beauty of soup is that it is simple and you can make it into a complete power meal by adding greens, lean protein, and a variety of veggies. Here is one that our family loves.

The nutrient highlight in this soup is the Kale. Kale  is one of the of the healthiest foods you can eat. It tops the list of the most potent antioxidant vegetables and provides 17 essential nutrients, including 100% of the adult RDA for vitamin A and vitamin C in a single serving. It is an especially rich source of the phytochemicals lutein and zeaxanthin now famous for promoting eye and vision health.

What’s really cool is that kale is also a great source of calcium. And did you know that the body absorbs 59% of the calcium in kale while only 32% of the calcium in milk?  See this great article from Dr. Scott Skull on calcium sources in plants. So if you want to help your kids (or you) be strong healthy athletes, slip in the kale for strong bones and good vision!

The polenta is used as a thickener, to help make the soup a little heartier.  I like using spicy Italian turkey sausage to add a little extra zip; you could also use sweet Italian sausage.


Kale Italian-turkey-sausage Soup

Kale with Italian-Turkey-Sausage Soup

I always have a stash of Aleppo pepper in my pantry. It comes from the town of Aleppo in northern Syria; the flaky crushed sun-dried pepper has a slightly smoky flavor. I find mine at Sofra in Cambridge or you can find it in gourmet markets.  If necessary, you can substitute red pepper flakes.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrot
  • 3/4 cup well-washed thinly sliced leeks
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces Italian Turkey sausage (sweet or hot), casings removed
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal to thicken (optional)
  • 5 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • 4 cups packed stemmed and coarsely chopped kale
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, leeks, garlic, salt, black pepper, and Aleppo pepper and cook, stirring, until the onion becomes translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Drain off the excess fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pan. Stir in the cornmeal. Add the stock, stirring, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the greens and cook for 15 minutes more, or until tender.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with grated Parmigiano.


Download this recipe!



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