Take Out Fake Out Take Out Fake Out: Souppa Bacona Jill Niver

Have you guys ever been to that place? You know, that one that has the unlimited soup, salad and bread sticks? The event that allows you to gorge yourself with a plethora of deliciousness before you even get your meal. Yeah, that one. My favorite part about the place that shall be left unnamed is the soup. Especially that one that’s painfully hard to pronounce and results in you just pointing to the menu while mouthing the word “bacon.”

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I don’t know anyone that isn’t in love with this soup. I mean, what’s not to love? Potatoes? Yes. Sausage? Oh yeah! Bacon? Dayummm, girl. The only one here that doesn’t seem to be a fan is my love handles. They just can’t seem to get on board with the creamy goodness. Typically I ignore their protests, but there’s only nine more months ’til bikini season. I promised myself that summer 2014 will be the year I don’t have to carry my muffin tops to the beach in a picnic basket.

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Since my desire to eat this soup was starting to outweigh my willpower to stay in shape, I decided, hey, why not make it at home? I was able to lighten it up as well as save some coin. You can make a huge pot of this stuff for about the same price as the unlimited pasta, plus you won’t be eating unlimited pasta. Win, win!

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What I did:

- Subbed turkey sausage for pork sausage, which means less fat.

- Instead of just using sliced potato and then using heavy cream to make the soup creamy, I blended up some of the potato to make the soup silky and smooth. Again, this means less fat AND dairy free.

- I just couldn’t bring myself to remove the bacon from this recipe, or use some sort of bacon substitute, that would be just plain wrong. So I kept the bacon but made sure to drain off all the excess grease, rather than cooking the onion and garlic in it….which I never, ever do on a regular basis….why it even popped into my brain is beyond me.

- KALE!

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Souppa Bacona:

Makes a ginormous pot (about 10 servings) works out to about 201 calories per serving!

Total Time: 50 minutes

Total time where you actually have to do things: 30 minutes

What you need:

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  • 1/2 cup bacon, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 lb spicy Italian turkey sausage, removed from casing
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
  • salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chopped kale

Directions:

In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat, saute the bacon until crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any excess grease. Drain off extra grease from the pot and place the pot back on the heat.

Add the turkey sausage to the pot and saute until browned, breaking up into small pieces with a wooden spoon as you go. Once browned and cooked through, remove to another plate lined with paper towel. Add in the onion and garlic and saute until softened and translucent, about 2-3 minutes.

Pour in the water, chicken broth and sliced potatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender. If you have an immersion blender, you can use that to blend up some of the potatoes, just stick it into the soup and blend for about 30 seconds, making sure to leave some of the potato slices in tact. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can just ladle about 1/4 of the soup into a regular blender, and puree it that way.

Now you should have something that resembles a delicious creamy soup. Return the cooked turkey sausage to the pot, and then turn the heat up to medium and taste it for seasoning. You will definitely need some salt and pepper, unless you are devoid of all taste. Add a little or add a lot, it’s up to you, man.

Once you have it seasoned to your satisfaction, and you are ready to serve it (aka there are people tugging at your yoga pant leg,) stir in the chopped kale. You really just need to heat the kale through and soften it slightly. Don’t let it go too long or it will lose its bright, green verdant-ness. You really gotta bring the verdant with this recipe.

Now, once the kale is softened slightly and the soup is steaming hot, ladle into bowls and sprinkle a smidgen of the cooked bacon on top for garnish.

Spoon into face, repeat as needed.

Enjoy, folks!

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