Last week, our blog article was all about the eye health benefits from leafy green foods. Even though we know that green leafy foods are good for our bodies and eye health, it’s not always easy ensuring that you’re consuming enough of them. Especially if you’re a meat and potatoes guy like my husband. After writing the blog last week, I was also inspired to try to add more greens to my own diet. At my last trip to the grocery store I bought a bunch of kale. It was my mission to find a recipe to use it in. And not just any recipe, but one that my whole family would love! Well, I succeeded! Read our blog article this week to learn how to make the eye healthy recipe – Tuscany soup!
It’s no secret that the Italians do things really well! Wine, shoes, cars, coffees, and to add to the list – SOUP! I found this recipe last week on my quest to add more greens (specifically kale) into my family’s diet! This soup is so good! It’s hardy but light all at the same time, and the best part is that one of the ingredients is kale! Kale is a great source of healthy eye antioxidants! consuming eye healthy nutrition from kale can help aid in the prevention of sight threatening diseases, such as age related macular degeneration.
With January being a month which is typically colder and with it also being national soup month. This eye healthy recipe hits the spot!
Eye Healthy Recipe – Tuscany Soup
- 1 lb Italian sausage, outer casing removed and cut or sliced into small pieces (depending on your taste buds either mild or spicy will do! I also found 4 regular sized sausage links equivalent to about 1 lb)
- 2 large baking potatoes, washed and sliced into 1 inch sections and then 1 inch slices (If the potatoes are in good condition, leave the skin on, it adds flavour to the soup)
- 1 small to medium-sized sweet onion, chopped
- 4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled or 1/4 cup of the bag crumbled bacon – note: this is not the same as bacon bits – it has to be real bacon!
- small amount of olive oil to sauté (optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (omit this if you’ve used spicy Italian sausage)
- 4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
- 3 cups kale or 3 cups spinach, chiffonade (I removed the spine/vein out of the kale and then sliced it, but you can add the spine if you like… adding the spine will add a bit more crunch to the soup)
- 6 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- Cook bacon in the bottom of your soup pot or a frying pan until crisp. When bacon is done, move it to a paper towel to help remove any extra grease. NOTE – f you are using the crumbled bacon from the bag, you can omit this step and add it with your onions, if doing this, you will also have to add a small amount of olive oil.
- Sauté onions in the bacon grease for about 2 minutes then add the pre-cut pieces of sausage to the onions and continue to cook until the sausage is browned (about 5 additional minutes). Add the garlic into the pot and continue to sauté everything together for an additional minute.
- Drain grease if necessary.
- Reduce the heat, add the bacon back to the onion and sausage pieces. Add the diced potatoes and slowly pour in the chicken broth and water.
- Add in the salt, pepper, and any additional spices.
- Cook on medium heat until the potatoes are done. Check the potatoes pieces for firmness often, as you don’t want to over cook the potatoes as they can turn to mush.
- Reduce the heat and add in the kale. Stir and cook until the kale wilts.
- Add the cream, stir to combine.
- Check for taste, make adjustments to season as needed and ENJOY!!!
You can substitute chicken or turkey sausages as a healthier option!
This eye healthy recipe has been tweaked from a similar recipe to increase nutritional eye health benefits! Check out some of our other great eye health recipes below!
- Eye Healthy Recipe – Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Eye Healthy Recipe – Black Bean & Mango Salad
Article written by: Trina Vanaalst, Registered Optician & Contact Lens Practitioner