We tend to favor low-key holiday celebrations these days. Our life is quiet, simple we are older and we are tired!
A hearty sweet potato, sausage and kale soup to begin the new year.
This year we will enjoy the simple pleasure of walking Sassy, a bit of the NY day parade, watch a good DVD and a great healthy meal. We will likely talk to some of out-of-town relatives as well which is always a bright spot in our day.
I cooked one of my all-time favorite homemade soups this year; Sweet Potato, Sausage and Kale Soup that I adapted many years ago from This Organic Life written by Joan Gussow. This is a great book for any beginning gardener and is about Joan and her husband’s life as college professors and urban gardeners in upstate New York. This is my “go to” potluck soup that everyone raves over. This soup is so good it is almost sinful. I do recommend it!
I’m still trying to find away to make tasty gluten-free biscuits. Not there yet.
Experimenting with gluten-free biscuits today.
Sweet Potato, Sausage and Kale Soup
(Adapted from This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader, Joan Dye Gussow. This soup was originally a Portuguese tradition.
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chopped onion (about 2 large)
1 teaspoon sea salt (I use just a small pinch)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Rosemary to taste (try ½ to 1 Tablespoon to start)
1 pound sweet turkey Italian sausage (or whatever sausage you like)
8 cups coarsely chopped peeled sweet potato (about 2 1/4 pounds or 6 lg. potatoes)
2 cups of cabbage
5 cups water
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
I also add 5 or 6 chicken bouillon cubes
1 (16-ounce) package prewashed torn kale
Parsley to taste (I used about two heaping tablespoons)
1 (16-ounce) can cannelloni beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16 oz. canned tomato) or homegrown/frozen
(I also like to add chunks of cooked/boiled Butternut squash to my soup. (It’s filled with fiber and I love it in my soups.)
- Boil sweet potatoes and drain.
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Add onion; sauté 10-15 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Remove casings from sausage; add sausage to pan. Cook 5 minutes or until sausage is lightly browned, stirring to crumble.
- Add sweet potatoes, 5 cups water, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Gradually add kale; cook 10 minutes or until tender.
- Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and beans (squash and any other ingredients above)
- Transfer to a crock pot and finish cooking and blending all flavors
For our dessert I made my rice pudding. Now that I am on a restricted diet I was looking for a low sugar, gluten-free dessert option.
Gluten-Free Low Sugar Brown Rice Pudding (my adaptation)
- 3/4 cup uncooked brown rice
- I cook the brown rice ahead of time and then assemble. I cook my rice for about 30 minutes and then let it sit in the pan on the same burner another 15-20 while it continues to slowly cook until soft. Just watch that the water does not fully evaporate and the rice burns. Usually this is not a problem, but just be aware.
- 2 cups milk, divided (I use 1 to 2 cups of organic Almond milk.)
- 1/3 cup white sugar (I use brown sugar.) I can get by with less sugar because the Craisins are very sweet.
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (I leave out the salt)
- This year I added 3/4 cup of fresh pomegranate seed
- I egg beaten
- 2/3 cup golden raisins (I use Craisins (dried cranberries) since my husband cannot eat raisins.)
- 1 tablespoon butter (I generally don’t use butter but I bet it would taste wonderful!)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract When the dish is assembled, I shake on nutmeg on the top.
- I add a small package of slivered almonds.
- I cook the brown rice up ahead of time.
- In a separate bowl assemble all the ingredients except the nutmeg. Mix well.
- Spoon into the bowl with lid I am cooking it in.
- Sprinkle on the nutmeg
- Cook at 325-350 for 20 minutes or until slightly browned and looks cooked around the sides
- Serve warm (or you can also eat it cooled.)
- Will keep for about 4-6 days.
You can make this simple dessert from start to finish in about 90 minutes.
Enjoy the fruits of your labor too and have an amazing new year!
Small House homesteader, Donna