Sausage, Kale, and Potato Soup a la Hannah

The Pioneer Woman is the source of this recipe, as is true for many many good recipes.  And a friend pointed us towards this recipe in particular.  It’s like our friends know we love eating or something.  Nice friends.

But I call it mine because I made one HUGE change to this recipe.  Where PDubs (as we affectionately call her at home) uses 4 cups of half and half, 2 cups of whole milk, and a dash of heavy cream, I used 1% milk.  Yep, approximately 6 cups of 1% milk.  That’s a risky change, and one that probably does alter the taste and consistency of this dish.  Without tasting it, I can tell you that PDubs’ version of the recipe is more delicious.

photo by Ree Drummond (found on
photo by Ree Drummond (found on

Mine, however, doesn’t make me cringe as I pour ingredients into the soup.  And with the broth and sausage and potatoes, the milk difference disappeared really well into the background.  Substitution success!

Also, if you always buy the spicy Italian sausage instead of the sweet or the mild (because that’s just how you roll), I beg you not to add the crushed red pepper that the recipe calls for.  Either spice factor is enough.  Both together might be hotter than spicy chicken wings.  I may or may not know that from experience.

But wait, there’s more to the story.

You’re supposed to let this simmer for a while, right?  For 30 minutes, to be precise.  Which is supposed to happen right after you add milk to the pot.  I did that.  I was feeling super lazy and tired, so I got everything together and literally walked away until the bell dinged.  Turns out that not stirring your milk-based soup for 30 minutes makes your milk smell burned.  Then the smell of burned milk soup might make you cry, as you look at this beautiful pot of soup that you ruined.  It made me feel approximately like this sad panda:

photo from
photo from

Just give it a chance though.  Even if you’re lazy and sometimes forget how to be a good cook, there’s hope.  Stir it a lot and eat it anyway.  It was delicious despite the burned milk scare.  I’m not sure how that was possible, but it happened.

If a meal can be burned and neglected and substituted within an inch of its life and still taste good, I approve.  This, my friends, is a good recipe.

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