Gloomy Rainy Days of Fall

Every now and then I love gloomy rainy days. Today is one of them. It's chilly outside, gray clouds overhead, and just a little bit of a drizzle coming from the sky. I love to put on something comfy and warm up to a hot cup of coffee in the morning.  

Fall is my favorite time of year!

It has been for as long as I can remember. Even as a young girl growing up in Iowa I used to admire the beautiful fall colors and relish the crispness of the air. I guess I felt like with my copper colored locks I fit into the fall landscape in some small way.

Fall for me evokes many things, warm comfy sweaters, crisp red apples, and warm fragrant soup on the stove. As an adult now living in Arkansas I feel fortunate that I am still able to experience the beauty of fall in this part of the world. They say it gets cold here, but the locals I fear have no idea at all what cold really is. My perspective is much different growing up in the mid west, of course. The cold brings on a beautiful change, namely in the tree color. It is fairly hilly and mountainous here so you get a hint at the fall landscape everywhere you go.   It's on days like this that I like to warm up my kitchen with a yummy soup full of another reason to love fall, a crop of autumn vegetables. A family favorite is my take on the famous Zuppa Toscana. You can use any fall vegetable in this no fail soup! I love to use kale and the nutritious sweet potato in my brothy recipe. Get into something comfy and enjoy this recipe with your family!

Zuppa Toscana con Patata Dolce

  • 1 Pound Turkey Sausage or other, your choice. Beyond Sausage crumbled is perfect here as well.  

  • 2 TBS Olive Oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 32oz container of chicken broth (homemade chicken stock is perfect in this recipe) Vegan use any veggie broth or stock.  

  • 2 sweet potatoes skin on or removed (your choice!)

  • 2 Cups 2% Milk or Skim if you have it on hand.  Also, an unsweetened Oat, Almond or Soy works great here as well.  

  • 4 cups chopped kale

  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Use a dutch oven or soup pot, add the olive oil. Once hot sauté diced onion and garlic until translucent and the garlic becomes fragrant.

Add turkey sausage and work it around in the pot until it's fully cooked. If you are making this vegan and using Beyond Sausage then cook until sausage is nice a browned (this will add tons of flavor).

Then add your sweet potatoes and chicken broth. The goal here is to cook the sweet potato which shouldn't take long, say 15-20 minutes. Check the sweet potato doneness with a spoon.

When sweet potato is soft and cooked through, add the milk which will make this soup warm and creamy. We add it last so that the milk does not separate and curdle.  

Last but not least add the chopped kale. Let the kale cook down but keep its bright green color. This should take about 5 minutes or less. Salt and pepper to taste.  

I love this recipe because it is a one pot meal and so easy on a cold rainy fall day when all you want to do is curl up with a warm beverage and good book. And let's face it, no one wants to be cleaning up a huge mess.

You are welcome to add parmesan cheese to top if you like. I love this warm hearty and nutritious soup with a gorgeous crusty bread. Enjoy!

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