Deliciously Imperfect Soup

I have a confession to make… I am addicted to Imperfect Produce. I admit it; which is the first step, right?  If you’ve never heard of them, shame on you! They help stop produce waste, clean up the earth and so on and so forth.  But most importantly, they deliver fruits and vegetables right to your door at about half the cost of going to the grocery store and buying them yourself (at least according to my calculations).  So, if you haven’t heard of them, you are seriously missing out!

One of the perks of using Imperfect Produce is that even though you pick out what you want, you never really know what that will look like when it comes in.  So opening the box is always a surprise; one that my 2 year old LOVES!  She gets so excited when the vegetables come in and after she takes a bite out of half of them, she helps me put them away.

Well, this recipe was born out of my first gaze into this week’s box of Imperfect produce, hence the name.  I opened it up, saw a scrumptious mound of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and Swiss chard (among other things), and I couldn’t help but try my hand at a new soup.  My daughter has been sick with one virus after another for the past few weeks, so trips to the grocery store have been few and far between–making me ever more thankful for the weekly deliveries right to my door!  And with fairly empty cabinets, I had to make due with what I had.

Thus, Deliciously Imperfect Soup was born and thankfully, it turned out delicious!  We thoroughly enjoyed it, and unlike other soups I have previously posted, this one leaves you feeling more full and satisfied with a smaller amount. It may actually be our favorite yet! With a sweet, thick taste from the sweet potato, contrasted with the comforting, savory bacon and pork sausage flavor, it is just totally set apart from other’s like potato soup or my Winter Comfort Soup.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 cups chicken broth (or 8 if you would like a more “brothy” soup)
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 links Sam’ s Choice Original Smoked Sausage, sliced (this one is allergy friendly)
  • 3 slices of uncured, all-natural bacon (again, allergy friendly)
  • 1 medium or 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, chopped peeled and chopped
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, separated from the stems & chopped small

Seasonings:

  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 generous pinch of saffron
  • salt & pepper to taste (at least 1/4 tsp each)

 

NOTES:

*You can replace the Swiss chard with kale if you cook it longer, or spinach if you cook it for a shorter amount of time.

*If feeding a toddler or young picky eater, you can add rice milk to their bowl to make it creamier. My daughter loves the “juice” from soup with added rice milk, though she does like this soup better without the rice milk.

 

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DIRECTIONS:

In a large pot, bring the chicken broth and water to a boil.  Once it begins to boil, add the sliced sausage and continue to cook on medium-low heat with a nice simmering, low boil.

In a medium sized skillet, cook the bacon until it is just cooked, not crispy.  Remove from the pan and chop into small pieces. Set aside.

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Add the sweet potatoes, potatoes, and bacon pieces to the large pot with the broth and mix together to incorporate. Also add the seasonings at this time.

Meanwhile, add the diced onions to the small skillet with the bacon drippings and saute until translucent.   (If you prefer a lower fat, heart-healthier method, wipe the pan clean of the bacon drippings, drizzle with canola, avocado, or corn oil, and saute the onions in that instead.)

About 15 minutes after adding the potatoes to the soup pot, add the Swiss chard and mix to combine.

Taste, and add more salt and pepper or seasonings if needed.  Continue cooking on medium-low for another 5-10 minutes, until the potatoes and chard are at the consistency you prefer.  I like everything very soft so my toddler who is sensitive to a ton of different textures will eat it without any issues, so I cook it for about 10 minutes more.

Serve and enjoy!

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As always, if you make this and enjoy it, please leave let me know and check out more recipes on my “Recipes” page.  Thanks for visiting!

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Winter Comfort Soup

This is a recipe for the whole family (including those with food allergies). It is dairy, soy, nut, wheat, and egg free, packed with vegetables and fats for those growing little ones (or for comfort for us adults in the winter time :-D), and it is actually really easy to make.

This recipe came about because I went into the grocery store hungry.  Yeah, bad idea, I know.  I thought soup sounded nice and I wanted to add more of a variety of vegetables to our diets, so I wandered around and ended up with what I am calling Winter Comfort Soup!  My family and In laws all loved it!  Most importantly, my toddler LOVES it!  It is very rare to find something that she actually loves to eat, so when I do, it is a huge victory!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large parsnip, chopped
  • 1/2 large daikon radish, chopped (2 piled up cups)
  • 1 medium-large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bag of mixed mini potatoes quartered (see picture above for size reference)
  • 1/2 large head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard leaves, chopped
  • 15 cloves of garlic sliced (about half a garlic head)
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 4 slices of uncured bacon
  • 2 lbs ground pork sausage (I used “Country Style” flavor)
  • 12 cups of chicken broth
  • 4 cups unsweetened rice milk

Seasoning Mix:

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (or cayenne)
  • 4 big pinches of Saffron
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 1 TBS paprika
  • 1 1/2 TBS onion powder
  • 1 1/2 TBS garlic powder

 

DIRECTIONS:

Add the parsnip, daikon radish, and garlic into a 10 quart pot with the chicken broth. Heat on medium-high heat until boiling, then reduce to medium heat. Cook for about 15 minutes before adding more ingredients.

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In a large sauce pan (I used a wok-style pan), cook the bacon until it is no longer pink (do not cook until it is crispy). Remove the bacon, slice into small pieces, and set aside.

WITHOUT draining the bacon grease, add the onion to the same saucepan and saute over medium-high heat for about 3-5 minutes, or until semi-translucent.

Meanwhile, add the potatoes, cabbage, Swiss chard, and seasoning mix to the 10 quart pot and mix well. Continue to cook on medium or low-medium heat.

Add the ground pork sausage to the pan with the onions and cook until the meat is almost browned. Then add the slices of bacon and continue cooking until the sausage is completely browned and thoroughly cooked.

Drain the meat in a metal strainer, and add to the 10 quart pot, along with the green onions.

Continue to cook until potatoes are tender, but not mushy, and until the greens are soft (about 10-15 minutes). The total cooking time should not be more than 45 minutes.

Turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the burner and add the rice milk. Stir to combine, wait about 2 minutes, and serve.

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If you make this recipe and enjoy it, please let me know and please share! Check out more recipes using the tabs on the right. Thanks for visiting!