Coffee / Food / Running

Sunday Soup and a Run

It’s Sunday.  Most people sleep in and make a nice breakfast.  Enjoy an extra cup of coffee and watch some TV.  Not me.  Nah, I wake up and lace up.  My shoes that is…time for a run.  Today I only did a few miles as the weather has turned and we had plans to go out.  It was a good run though…liking my new shoes each time I use them.  However, I am taking it easy this time…easing into the mileage so I don’t hurt my achilles again.  I can tell a difference in my form between the bulkier “stability” shoes and these low slung “barefoot” style.  I hope to transition to a barefoot shoe and get away from my heel striking.  Slow but sure though…last time my achilles balked at my quicker use.

Then I came home and had my extra cup of coffee.  🙂  Yummy.  Btw, HB and the kids gave a thumbs up to Van’s Gluten Free waffles, found at Target.  They went through the whole box topped with some real maple syrup for breakfast.  I  also tested out a new recipes for some pumpkin donuts…gonna have to rework it a tad before I post but the smell was divine!  I love a house that smells like cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg.  Don’t you?  So seasonal.  I’ll try to get that one posted soon…a few more tests may be in order.  Not sure I can manage more donuts.  LoL  Ok, who am I kidding?  I have plenty of coffee to handle it.

Speaking of coffee…have you tried the Green Mountain Coffee k-cup Lake and Lodge?  A darker roast but a nice sweet finish.  A very good wake me up coffee with a great ending note.  (Listen to me…trying to sound all coffee snobbish with my “review.”)  It is a good cup though!  Oh and the Vermont Country Blend…so good.

I don’t know about you but today is a day for soup!  It’s chilly out there.  The cold front the weather people were talking about hit late last night and our temps haven’t creeped much about the 50s.  The rain makes it bone chilly.  Thankfully the wind is light so it doesn’t just whip through ya.  HB is fighting a cold so some soup will do his body good.  Along with copious amounts of tea laced with honey.

My recipe below is my version of Zuppa Toscana…the best soup at Olive Garden, IMO.  It has a few modifications to suit our tastes.  Mostly it is the addition of some spicy sausage and extra of all the meat, potato, and greens.  I like a bulky soup…not just broth.  I like to use a sweet onion, like the vidalia, as it balances the spice.  Oh and more bacon…who doesn’t like more bacon?!  Try it with some crusty bread.  De-lish and oh so warming!

Homemade Zuppa Toscana…Bre Style

Makes 8-10 servings (depending on how big the bowl is)


2 lbs ground Italian sausage (secret: 1 lb Johnsonville spice & 1 lb Johnsonville regular)

1 large vidalia onion, diced

4-5 slices crumbled bacon (or for a quick fix: 5-6 tbsp real bacon pieces)

2 tbsp minced garlic

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

5-6 medium  russet or idaho potatoes, sliced into moon shapes, approx 1/4″ thick, skin on

1 large carton chick broth (4 cups)

6 cups water

5 bouillon cubes

1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and lightly chopped

1 cup heavy cream

salt, to taste


1.  Saute Italian sausage in large stock pot.   Remove when cooked to large bowl and drain off fat, leaving 1 tbsp in pot.

2.  In same pot with fat, add onion, bacon, garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Saute over med-high heat for 8-10 minutes until onion is soft.  Add chicken broth, water, and bouillon and bring to boil.

3.  Meanwhile, slice potatoes into 1/4″ thick moon shapes.  Once boiling, add potatoes and cook over med-high heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.  Once potatoes are tender, slowly drizzle in heavy cream, stirring constantly to combine.

5.  Add sausage and kale, allow to heat through, approximately 5 minutes.  Salt to taste, if needed.

6.  Serve and Enjoy!  🙂

Bre’s Zuppa Toscana


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