It’s finally starting to cool down and stay cool. Now that Fall is here, I’m ready to plant my face in bowls of all sorts of soup. This Sausage & Cannellini Cioppino is one of my absolute favorites because it’s a fast, easy one pot meal with a whole lot of healthy going on that doesn’t taste necessarily “healthy.” It’s bold flavors are given credit to the Italian sausage of course. I used TURKEY Italian sausage rather than pork to keep the grease level down. You really can not taste a difference whatsoever. They make a chicken Italian sausage too, I’m not a huge fan of it as I believe I CAN taste the difference but by all means, if you want to use it, do so!
For those who aren’t a fan of kale or never tried it, this is one of the best ways to try kale. Baby steps! It literally doesn’t have much of a flavor as it absorbs everything else in the soup but the importance of getting greens is huge. There are different kinds of kale, feel free to use any of them. The curly kale is great and more hearty than lacinto or dino kale but they all taste fairly similar. Swiss chard is also a great option in place of kale.
Also, extremely important! When buying broth, read the ingredients label. You will discover that most broth is hardly much REAL broth and riddled with MSG. The best way to get quality broth is to look at the ones packaged in a box and low-sodium. Pacific is one of my favorite brands. Just make sure it doesn’t have MSG and other additives that don’t sound like REAL FOOD. You can control your salt intake yourself very easily by just adding sea salt if needed.
Sometimes I love throwing in 1/2 pound of shrimp instead of beans or in addition to. Of course you can do whatever you want and make it your own as I always love to encourage that. If you’re new to cooking, it may be easiest for you to follow the recipe to get a feel for it and then next time make it by adding your own flare to it. Regardless, I hope you guys enjoy this cioppino as much as I do. It’s even better when you dunk homemade garlic bread or grilled cheese into it!
SAUSAGE & CANNELLINI CIOPPINO
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, garlic, onion, sea salt, and pepper. Let cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened about 5 minutes.
Add the basil, thyme, sausage, and use a wood spoon to break the sausage up. Cook for about 5 minutes until almost cooked through.
Add the wine, stir by scrapping up the bits from the bottom of the pan then stir in the tomato paste, vegetable broth, stewed tomatoes, and bay leaf. Bring everything to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and let cook for 20 minutes, stirring once in a while.
Lastly, add the beans and kale. Stir and let cook for another five minutes. Remove the bay leaf, add more salt and pepper to taste.
One pot meals are some of my favorite dishes because it doesn’t require a lot of time especially when you don’t have a lot of time to begin with. And because it’s so simple, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of the ease for all-around healthy food.
You can’t get any more well balanced in a meal than this turkey chili. Plenty of protein from the turkey and beans. Complex carbs from the beans with TONS of fiber from both the beans and veggies. And not to forget to mention, there is no flavor lacking in this chili. Don’t let the ground turkey concern you! Cumin is the secret to making ground turkey (or ground chicken) taste similar to beef. But if you must, you can simply use a lean ground beef instead.
I personally use half ground turkey and half ground turkey breast. The ground turkey breast is very lean with a little higher protein content, only about 1.5g of fat per 4oz and no saturated fat like regular ground turkey. It’s a fair compromise to really make it healthy. Actually, it’s just to make room for me to top it off with some of my Homemade Queso Fresco cheese, haha! For those who are diabetic, with 8 servings in this chili you’ll get about 16g net carbs which isn’t so bad for how filling it is. You can make your portion smaller and enjoy a side of veggies or a salad to keep the carbs down more.
TURKEY BEAN CHILI
In a large pot over medium-high heat cover the bottom of the pot with olive oil and sauté the bell peppers, onions, jalapeno, and garlic stirring until the onions are translucent.
Add the ground turkey, chili powder, cumin, paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and dried bay leaf. Use a wooden spoon to break apart the ground turkey and mix everything together.
Once the ground turkey is nearly cooked after about several minutes, add the canned crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, and worchestershire sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce the temperature to a steady simmer for about 45 minutes uncovered. Stir once in a while.
Add the black beans and kidney beans the last 5 minutes.
Revised: September 7, 2017
One of my favorite types of soups are bisques because they’re super warm in flavor (not just temperature), yield so much flavor, have a creamy factor without having to add cream or any dairy and can be rather good for you. So those who are lactose intolerance or vegetarian/vegan, this may be a go to for you! If you love roasted peppers then I promise you won’t be disappointed in this recipe. I put together a citrus lump crab salad to go with the soup but it’s not mandatory to make because you can do whatever you want. While the crab adds some elegance to the dish and would make for a great soup for guests, you can keep it casual like I did the other day. I paired it with a gruyere grilled cheese and it was so awesome! I’d imagine a quesadilla would do just as well too.
The brandy in the recipe is optional if you prefer to not cook with alcohol but it does make a subtle difference in depth of flavor. Keep in mind the alcohol does get cooked out. Also, depending on the size of your blender, you might have to puree in two separate batches. As always, I encourage you to make this recipe as fancy or casual as you like and please share what you come up with. I always love your new ideas. Enjoy!
CRAB & RED PEPPER BISQUE
In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the citrus crab salad and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat the broiler on high. Place the 3 red bell peppers on a baking dish and broil until the skin is charred and blistered. Turn them often until all sides are done.
Remove the peppers from the oven and cover the peppers with a towel. Let cool.
Peel the skin from the peppers under cool water, remove the seeds, pat dry, rough chop and set aside.
Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pot over medium heat, then add 3 raw chopped bell peppers, leek, onion, garlic, and celery. Allow them to sweat for about 15 minutes, until very soft but not browned.
Add the bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper then stir. Pour the brandy into the pan, stir, increase the heat to medium-high and reduce the brandy completely.
Pour in the vegetable stock, stir and let everything come to a boil. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 40 minutes.
Add the roasted peppers to the soup and run the soup through a high speed blender like a Vitamix until smooth.
Add any additional alt and cayenne to taste.
To assemble, arrange a few slices of avocado at the bottom of a bowl, and place the crab salad in the center. Pour the soup around the crab salad.
There is no need to keep buying pre-made jarred marinara when making your own is a no brainer! Trust me on this. If you’re like me and use marinara almost all year round for a multitude of things then this will make your life easier. You’ll also be happy knowing that your marinara isn’t loaded in added sugar and some other random crap that doesn’t belong in there. This recipe can make about two pint-sized mason jars and can store them for later use.
I use this marinara for my Braciole & Italian Sausage that many of you have gone crazy over. Even my Minestrone Soup and if you want in the Mediterranean Meatloaf! This is really the base for a lot of my tomato related sauces and other Italian dishes that I’ll be sharing in the coming days. But let this recipe again encourage you to take away and add the things you love most to make your very own version. Buon appetito!
In a large spot, drizzle the bottom with olive oil and sauté the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, salt, and pepper for about 5 – 7 minutes.
Add the basil, stir for a minute then add the can of crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir everything together thoroughly and let simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour or until it’s thickened. Stir every so often.
Remove the bay leaf from the sauce and add more salt to taste.
If you like a more smooth texture to the marinara, you can cool it and pour the sauce into a blender or food processor to your desired texture. Make a day ahead for better flavor.