Ham Potato Soup

You may wonder why I’m posting a hot soup recipe in the middle of June, well, while our family and friends in Alaska are experiencing a heat wave, those of us here in Eastern Washington are enjoying much cooler, cloudier temperatures that are perfect when paired with a good bowl of soup!  Also, I was cleaning out my freezer and found a ham bone from Easter that I needed to use!  Here is my super simple ham, potato soup recipe, enjoy!  ~Janna

Ingredients:

1 ham bone (some meat on, or cubed ham)
1 large sweet onion
6 red potatoes washed and peeled
4 carrots chopped
½ cup milk
2 cups kale, washed and ripped into bite sized chunks
1/8 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
black pepper

Method:

Place ham in a large stock pot with 2 quarts of water, bring to a boil then simmer covered for about 2 hours.  Remove the ham from the water along with all the meat/fat pieces floating in water.  Get all of the good meat off the ham and cut into bite sized chunks, set aside.  Add 1 quart of water to the stockpot and bring back to simmer.  Cut up onion, potatoes, carrots and add to simmering stock pot along with reserved meat, cook until veggies are tender, about 20 minutes.  When veggies are tender, add milk, parsely, kale and a few dashes of black pepper, return to simmer.  Ladle into soup bowls and enjoy.

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Crispy Kale Chips

These crispy greens are an interesting alternative to fattening potato chips, and a flavorful way to get more vegetables into your diet.  They have a simple, earthy flavor and a delicate crunch.  They are also naturally gluten free, and the fat in the olive oil helps your body absorb the vitamins.  Not bad for a few minutes of prep!  Just be sure to check your teeth when you’re done munching! ~Joanie

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Ingredients:

Large bunch of curly kale

2 TBS Olive Oil +/-

Sea Salt or Kosher Salt

Baking Sheet

Directions:

Wash your kale, then dry it THOROUGHLY.  I use my salad spinner, then a clean towel to dab off any excess water.  If there is any water left, your kale will steam instead of roast, which will turn them brown and keep them from getting crispy.

Once kale is clean and dry, remove the spines and tear into pieces a bit larger than bite sized (they will shrink) and spread out on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, then get your hands in there and make sure every piece is lightly coated.  Sprinkle with just a little bit of salt.  Be careful because these are easy to over-season, you can always add a sprinkle of salt at the end.

  

Bake in a 275 degree oven for about 20 minutes, turning halfway through.  Chips should come out crispy!

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different seasoning  combinations.  Garlic or onion powder would be great, as would a little black pepper.  I sprinkled a little parmesan over mine when they were finished and it was yummy!  Let me know what variations you try!

Zuppa Toscana

This flavorful soup is incredibly easy and delicious, and most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry. I love the peppery flavor of the kale, and I find that the salt in the Italian sausage is enough to flavor the whole pot.

Serves about 6.

Ingredients:

1 lb Italian Sausage (I like the hot stuff)

1 Large Onion, chopped

3 Fresh Garlic Cloves, minced

3-5 Medium Potatoes

32oz Chicken Broth

4 Large Kale Leaves

1 Cup Heavy Cream (optional)

Directions:

Brown Italian sausage on medium heat in a separate skillet.  Strain the grease out using a mesh strainer or slotted spoon, but DO NOT RINSE!

Wash and peel potatoes.  Cut in-half, then slice into 1/4in. pieces.

In a large soup pot, combine chicken broth, minced garlic, chopped onion, potatoes and cooked sausage.  Allow to simmer about 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

While soup is simmering, wash kale thoroughly and remove the spines. Tear into “spoon-sized” pieces.  When potatoes are cooked to your desired tenderness, turn off the heat and add the kale.  Make sure the kale is submerged in the hot broth.  Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes, or until the kale turns a bright green color.

Add cream, if desired (I don’t) and serve immediately.  It’s delicious with simple bread and butter on the side.  Enjoy!  ~Joanie

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