Spicy Kale Soup

Apr 20th

This soup is perfect for a cool Spring day. I had never cooked with Kale before and I’m so glad I did. I love the fresh, crispy, savory, taste. The heat from the red pepper flakes is just perfect with the combination of sausage, potatoes, chicken broth, elbow macaroni, bacon, garlic and heavy whipping cream. This is a very easy recipe to make and really makes a lot, so if you don’t eat it all, you can either store in the refrigerator to eat for leftover’s all week, or you can freeze it for a later date. As some of you know my 96 year old Grandmother went into the hospital Saturday night and suffered a stroke, it was not a major stroke, thank God, but it was a stroke just the same. Further test’s revealed she had a stroke in the past that showed up on her MRI. She is now at a 24 hour care facility for therapy. She is getting stronger everyday. Her left arm and side are still numb, but they are working with her. Now they say she suffered a broken wrist somewhere along the way. My Grandmother is truly an inspiration to me. I love her with all my heart! Up until her stroke, she was driving and living alone, I’m afraid this is all about to change. She told me in the hospital the other day, she hopes she still gets to drive! We had a huge 95th Birthday Party last year for her, and this is a little something that I wrote about her. Francies Maye Zegarac, was born March 5th 1917, 95 years ago in Blairsburg Iowa. Her parents were from Germany and France. She is the oldest of four sister’s, Dorothy, Marge, and Betty, she has outlived them all! Her Father owned a hardware store in Blairsburg. She tells us this is where she learned how to swear. She also was a very fast runner. The farmer’s would bring their young son’s in and bet that they could outrun her. They lost those bet’s, not only could she outrun them, she could out swear them too! She met my Grandfather at a school dance and they were married a year later in 1936. She was 19. A year after that my Mother was born. My Grandfather went off to war in 1944, and she was left to run the household on her own. She has had many career’s  over her lifetime, waitress, women’s bridal, women’s wear, she modeled and hosted many a style show. Later in life she became a caregiver to my Grandfather. They were married for 65 years! Some interesting facts about when she was born in 1917. The United States declared war with Germany. Woodrow Wilson was President. The price of a car was $375.00. A loaf of Bread was 5 cents. The cost of a first class stamp was 2 cents. A gallon of gas was 4 cents. You could buy a home for $5000.00. Famous people that were born the same year were, JFK, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne. In her lifetime she has lived through 2 world wars and several other wars. The great depression, the holocaust, the atomic bomb, JFK assassination, the Cuban missile crisis, Sept 11th 2001, and the invention of the computer and cell phone. I have such fond memories of going to Waterloo Iowa, where my Grandparent’s lived. As soon as I walked into their home, there was this fabulous aroma, and no it wasn’t Nana’s perfume but her pancakes! Her’s were the best pancakes to this day that I’ve ever had! She has been such a strong inspiration to me in my life. She stayed married to the same man for 65 years, what dedication and love. She worked, cooked, cleaned, everyday and everynight. She always had dinner and a cocktail waiting for my Grandfather when he came home from work. She was an amazing golfer. When my Grandfather suffered a major stroke in 1993, she took care of him all by herself, she did this selflessly for 9 years! She taught me to be a strong women, to never gossip, always carry a dime in case you need to call someone, how to say Shit in the right context, wear your girdle, and always, always wear your lipstick, preferably red! Now you all know a little bit about my sassy Grandmother, and please keep her in your thoughts and prayers over the next day’s, week’s, and month’s. Our hope is she lives to be at least 100, so she can get on the Today show with Willard Scott! And we will have a huge celebration of her life at age 100! Thanks for reading, love, Stacey

Spicy Kale Soup

1 lb Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage

1 whole yellow onion, diced

4 slices bacon, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 whole medium potatoes sliced

64 oz of chicken broth

1/2 bunch of kale roughly chopped

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 a pound of elbow macaroni

1 Tbs red pepper flakes, or if you don’t like it to spicy you can use less

1 tsp sea salt, or more or less, to taste

1/2 tsp pepper, or more or less, to taste

Crumble sausage into a large pan and heat over medium-high until cooked through. Drain and set sausage aside. Next cook bacon in same pan until brown and crispy. Chop onions and garlic and add to bacon. Cook until onions are soft. Add cooked sausage to mixture. Slice potatoes in half to 1/4 inch slice and add to onions, garlic, bacon and sausage. Add the chicken broth, red pepper flakes, seasalt and pepper. Next add Elbow macaroni, simmer until potatoes are cooked through about 1 hour. Next add chopped Kale and heavy cream. Cook until heated through. If needed add more salt and pepper. Enjoy! Serve with my Artisan Bread recipe!






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