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Lemon Garlic Shrimp Salad with Radishes and Arugula

August 3, 2017

Note: I posted this salad awhile ago, but I am CRAVING it so hard, thanks to the lemon and the garlic and the crunchy and creamy textures. I have a bunch of friends coming into town this weekend and plan to make it.

This pregnancy has definitely cut into my regular food blogging routine – between exhaustion, summer heat, and really no room to have much of an appetite, I have been taking a break from recipe creation, and just living off of avocado toast, sandwiches, and simple salad dinners. I have been writing in the food memoir quite a bit, and rest assured my love for food and food blogging is as strong as ever. I am just letting this season be what it is, and look forward to the fall when my stomach becomes my own again. I know cooking with babies is hard but there is something about the post-natal period that makes me love being in the kitchen. In the meantime, I plan to keep giving updates about the twins here, with some food love sprinkled in, so feel free to check in here as there is always something to share. 🙂

Happy Eating! xoxo Katie

imageI could write a big post that is just an ode to the summer salad. We’ve been growing fresh romain and red leaf lettuce in our back yard, and I’ve been making big batches of this homemade Panara Greek Dressing.

But this salad is AH-mazing. Get ready for a flavor blast of lemon, garlic, and feta along with a texture explosion of crunchy radishes and nuts, creamy avocado, and meaty shrimp. You can make this for a party, or you can make it for yourself and halve the recipe. Either way, you’re going to wanna make it. Because its amazing.

I think I was laying by a pool while my kids swam when I dreamed it up. Most likely it was the lingering effects of Tamara Adler and her urge that a salad have something crunchy, creamy, acidic, and oily. Plus I totally crave shrimp in the summer for some reason – it cooks so fast so the kitchen doesn’t get hot and the lighter protein is my jam.  If your people don’t love shrimp you can totally substitute two cubed chicken breasts. 

I was having lunch with my mom and sister the next day, and had a bottle of my favorite Sancerre and wanted to bring something to go with it.

The garlick-y lemony dressing, and the crunch, not to mention how pretty it is, made us so happy.


I used some of the flavors from the dressing to marinate the shrimp. (A garlic spicy kick on shrimp makes me swoon). I made a marinade from the juice from 1 lemon, 1/2 olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. I put the raw shrimp in a zip lock bag with this and let it sit for a half hour. (You can do longer).

I started the dressing right after since it is very similar, and the longer the garlic hangs out with the lemon the more flavorful it will be so you want to give it some time to mingle. Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, minced shallot, 1 small grated (or minced) garlic clove. Let it hang. Go listen to some music. 


When you are ready to start the salad, put some sliced almonds (or whole almonds or another favorite nut) in a pan and toast them. For some reason, I feel compelled to toast nuts in my cast iron skillet. It heats them so evenly.

Here is where you can choose your own adventure: I kept feeling like couscous would be a great texture to this salad. But when I assembled it, it looked too pretty to add it! So I served it in a bowl with a bed of couscous underneath and it was amazing. So experiment! Maybe put it under the arugula in a big bowl if you were taking it to a party. Or leave it out. The couscous does such a great job of soaking up the yummy dressing so it is a thumbs up, but the salad is great on its own too.

While everything is marinating and toasting and couscous is (optionally) fluffing up, start slicing your radishes. I can’t get enough radishes these days, so in they went. And I wanted a creamy element, so in went avocados too.

This dish comes together fast, because although there are a lot of steps you can do them at the same time. The only thing that this salad requires one you get past cooking the shrimp is assembly. Yay for some easiness.

Whether you are headed to a big Labor Day bash, or some relaxed get togethers with friends and family, delight everyone and make this. (But even if you eat it at home with Netflix, it’s still pretty great.)


You will thank me when you make this! I promise.

Happy Eating, xoxo Katie

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Salad with Radishes and Arugula (Printer Version Here):

For the Marinaded Shrimp:

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 small garlic clove, finely grated

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ cup olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

½ lb. raw shrimp, peeled

For the Salad:

2 cups arugula, thinly sliced

1 avocado, sliced lengthwise

1 cup radishes, sliced

½ cup toasted almonds

½ cup crumbled feta (I used low fat)

For the Dressing:

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 small garlic clove, finely grated

2 teaspoons chopped parsely

½ teaspoon salt, pinch of black ground pepper

½ cup extra virgin olive oil


If shrimp is frozen, soak in warm water until it is thawed (about 5-10 minutes.) Peel and removed tails. Mix marinade ingredients together, then pour over peeled raw shrimp in a ziplock bag. Let sit in fridge for 30 minutes-4 hours.

Start the dressing by mixing all the ingredients except the olive oil. Let sit to allow flavors to blend.

If serving with couscous, prepare according to package directions.

Toast almonds by pouring into skillet or pan, shaking to evenly distribute in one even layer in pan so they toast evenly. Checking for doneness every few minutes (set a timer if needed) shaking pan to toss and redistribute nuts. Repeat as necessary until toasted. (Note: you can tell when they are done by noticing when there is a toasted nut smell, but the timer is more reliable, which is helpful since they burn easily). Remove from heat when done and let rest until use.

When shrimp is done marinating, heat large pan on medium-high heat. Pour shrimp in pan, give one small sprinkle of salt and pepper, turning after cooking 1-2 minutes or when pink. Let cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side, then transfer to a plate to cool.

Meanwhile, place arugula in large bowl. Slice radishes and scatter around the top. Slice avocado, squeezing with lemon juice to prevent browning, then lay on top of salad. Scatter evenly the feta, nuts, and shrimp around top.

When read to eat, pour dressing evenly over top. Serve immediately.

Summer Lovin’

July 4, 2017

I can’t believe it is already the 4th of July!

I haven’t had my usual rhythm of recipe developing, cooking, and snapping picks of recipes between my book coming out (thank you, thank you for all the messages about buying one or receiving one in the mail, such a joy that there are so many people reading it this summer!), this pregnancy fatigue, kids home from school that I am just drinking in, and my desire to eat nothing but watermelon, cherries, and good bread with good cheese. (Not a bad summer menu at all). So in these slow, lovely days, I thought I would share with you a few of the things I am loving right now.

We are up north at our condo in the White Mountains, but before we left we headed to the beach with friends and watched the fireworks. Now we are jumping in rivers (the kids not me) catching up on reading and blogging (me not the kids) and will head to beautiful Echo Lake here in North Conway for swimming and picnicking later today. And I brought up corn for dinner, so hoping to turn it into this:

This Mexican Street Corn was made my by sister last weekend and it is the best thing I have put in my mouth. Leftovers should be cut off the cob and mixed with the creamy sauce made from crème fraîche, lime juice, and seasoning, which is how I first had street corn at a Mexican restaurant, served in a bowl, lavishly dolloped onto the tacos I was eating. I can’t adequately express how much I dream of a bowl of this with all those smoky, creamy, citrus salty flavors. You can find the recipe she used by Tyler Florence at The Food Network here.

1. Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton

I am spending our vacation week reading this memoir about the Chef of Prune restaurant in NYC and her Souther Roots. A chef friend of mine recommended it to me (and the next book below). On top of being an amazing chef (you can catch her on The Mind of a Chef Season 4) she is a phenomenal writer to boot. There is something about the allure of southern food that is so fascinating, but this one transcends even that into a universal food experience. From the description on Amazon: “The constant thread running through this patchwork tale, which culminates with the opening of her New York City restaurant, Prune, is Hamilton’s slow simmering passion for cooking and the comfort it can bring.” Amen, sister.

2. Since I am on a Southern kick, I am also reading slowly this huge book, Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard:

This book, which I have just started to get into, is epic, a masterpiece filled with stories of Deep Run, an area in Eastern North Carolina. It is part memoir, part cookbook, and the recipes are organized by ingredient and dish type. Her recipes are seriously the most interesting combos, so inventive, and it is driven by her use of things grown around her. Her restaurant Chef and the Farmer opened because her family told her that if she would come back to her home in Kingston, North Carolina, they would buy her a restaurant, and she has since put her hometown on the culinary map. You can also find her on TV, on PBS series A Chef’s Life.  It is so interesting to see how she treats the south the way foodies treat regions in France or Italy, with the local ingredients prized and cherished. No matter that their local ingredients are pork, shrimp, corn, blueberries, and peaches.  A far cry from truffles and wine and olive oil. But her recipes include Blueberry BBQ Pork,  Cheesy Grit Fritters (yes, please), and Charred Spring Vegetables with Creamy Scallion Dressing and Hushpuppy Croutons (I have to make this: stay tuned as it might be worthy of its own blog post).

With sections titled ‘An Ode To Seasoning Meat’ and ‘How to Can in a Hot Water Bath’, Howard is my favorite kind of cook: the kind who shares all her secrets, like you are cooking right next to her. She is all heart and passion and obsession, and no pretense.

3. These sandals from Target:

I can’t even tell you how much I love these! They are so so comfortable – my pregnant self might have walked around StoryLand, an amusement park up here in the mountains, for 4 hours yesterday and they were a dream. (I then had to take a 2 hour nap, but that is not the sandals fault).

4. Watermelon Everything.

(photo from The Minimalist Baker)

I keep telling friends that my cravings of things I am missing this pregnancy are tied for a margarita and a nice, long run. But I can have lots of watermelon, so I am eating my fill. I am sharing this recipe for a Watermelon Margarita from the Minimalist Baker as it only has 3 ingredients (watermelon, lime juice, tequila) because I can have it if I make it with only the first 2 ingredients. Yay.

5. Salmon Everything.

(photo from Gimme Some Oven)

These babies have been craving good fats (like salmon and avocado) and really averse to bad fats (like french fries). Good job, babies. The sweet and smoky combo of Honey and Grainy Mustard is my favorite way to prepare it and this recipe from Gimme Some Oven is super easy and quick.

6. Avocado Everything:

I love it with just salt and good olive oil on it, but this Caprese Breakfast Toast is a combo of my summer favorites. So many light flavors, so little time.

7. If you have any corn that doesn’t get snatched up by your Mexican Street Corn obsession, this Corn, Tomato and Basil salad is my most favorite summer recipe to have in the fridge.

(photo from

David Leibovitz’s has long been one of my favorite food writers (his book My Paris Kitchen and The Sweet Life of Paris  and food blog are classics, and he is so much fun to follow on Instagram). But even though he has lived in Paris for so long and has a background in baking and patisserie, this all-American salad is one of my favorite recipes of his.

Ok, I’m off to pack up a picnic for the lake. Happy 4th, hope you are enjoying beautiful blue skies and lots of friends and family. Happy Eating!

xoxo, Katie

Blood Orange Salad

June 1, 2017

This season you can find Blood Oranges in the grocery stores, and if you have ever wondered what to do with them (besides juice them and turn them into sangria or buy some of the packaged fizzy blood orange drinks and also turn them into sangria) this salad will help you out. They are segmented for the salad and used in the dressing, and their unique flavor just permeates this salad. But even if they weren’t in season I would still be craving them since I can’t seem to get enough fruit, especially citrus. (I may have eaten 2 of these salads in a row and then ate a grapefruit.)

They taste like sweet oranges, and have a gorgeous jewel color:

I love the combination of citrus fruit, goat cheese, (or blue or feta) crunchy nuts and vinegary dressing. So think of this as a template, and feel free to swap the blood orange for grapefruit or oranges, and use your favorite cheese and nuts. I used Marcona Almonds with Rosemary from Trader Joes, but I am guessing that ingredient is going to be pretty hard to find elsewhere. But I have to say, there rosemary was a really good note in this salad. So feel free to mix plain Marconas with some of this herb to eat alone or add to salad.

The dressing is really easy. Once you get the hang of making vinaigrettes, it suddenly feels so freeing and the possibilities seem endless. Basics are a 3:1 ratio oil to acid, but I actually prefer mine a little lighter and usually keep it 2:1. But the official stance on vinaigrettes is 3:1. If you want a little ‘tutorial’ I just found this post  ‘7 Tips for Making the Perfect Vinaigrette’  that is really helpful, I highly recommend looking it over if you are curious about making your own salad dressing.

I used both blood orange and red wine vinegar here, Dijion, salt and pepper are a must, since you are usually trying to season a lot of veggies and salt brings out all the other flavors. And I found that often times when my vinaigrette needed something it was usually a little sweetness to counter-balance the acidity, and a little Agave syrup or sugar does the trick.

This is such a great first course to a dinner party, or to make a big salad for a party. But it is also great for lunch for 1 or 2, and I have kept the recipe to serve 2. Don’t wait for an invitation to make this – it is too good!


Happy Eating, xoxo Katie

Blood Orange Salad (printer version here): 

Ingredients for Dressing:

Juice from 1 blood orange (2 T)

1 T red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Dijon

1 tsp. agave syrup


1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Ingredients for 2 Salad Servings:

2 blood orange segmented

4 c. Mixed Greens

2 oz goat cheese

1/2 cup Marcona almonds


Whisk all ingredients together for dressing, saving oil for the last. Stream oil in, whisking as it is added. Taste with a piece of lettuce to check for seasonings, adding more in needed.

Assemble salad with greens on the bottom. Add dressing just before serving.



Light Potato Corn Chowder

May 16, 2017

First, congratulations to Donna Sylvester for winning the giveaway contest in my last post! Thanks to all of you who visit here, the numbers just seem to grow even if I can’t share as many recipes as I wish I could lately, so I am really grateful.

I have not been able to blog here as much thanks to final book edits (you can pre-order it here!) a First Communion, Mother’s Day, and a certain someone turning 4…(he asked for a dirt cake with trucks, and I was happy to oblige because, um, dirt cake is delicious.)

Not to mention the obvious barrier to productivity…being pregnant with twins. (Here I am at 16 weeks.)

It was another whirlwind weekend but something tells me it won’t be slowing down any time soon. I shudder to have the year-from-now-Katie look back on last-weekend-Katie and say, ‘girl, you don’t know what busy is’ because babies are always easier on the inside. But at least I have stumbled on my favorite Mother’s Day gift that is easy and delicious:

All the festivities as of late had me dreaming of summer, and we had a bbq with corn on the cob and potato salad. (I made this one in case you are curious). My guess is you and yours *might* have a similar weekend sometime soon and you could have some of these lovelies left over…

If so, this recipe is for you. And even if you don’t have left over, pick some up just to make this delicious chowder. It is so simple, and it feels like comfort food in a bowl. I like my soups on the healthier side, so I am calling this ‘Light Corn Chowder’ but lets be real…bacon and shredded cheddar cheese hardly make anything light. But since those are entirely up to you as toppings and not the base of the soup, light it is.

My mom is a really amazing cook, and one of her tricks is to add cream cheese to cream soups, since it adds a little tang, a ‘what is that flavor?’ intrigue that makes you want to take another bite. I like that I always have some in the fridge, unlike half and half or cream, and it helps make the soup thick and creamy, so you can use light milk. If you want you can use whole milk, cream, or  cheddar cheese instead, which also gives this soup a nice tang to it.

In these in between spring days, this soup warms you up on a chilly rainy day, but is still light enough to eat on a warmer day.

Happy Eating! xoxo Katie

Light Potato Corn Chowder (printer version here): 


2 Tbsp Butter

2 T flour

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

3 cups of corn (frozen or fresh, if fresh equals about 4 ears)

3 large or 4 medium potatoes

6 cups chicken stock

4 oz light cream cheese (neufchatel)

1 ½ cups milk (I use 1% but you can use whole for creamier soup)

2 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

Toppings: Crumbled Bacon, Shredded Cheddar Cheese (I used light), scallions, chives


Melt butter in large heavy bottomed pot. Add onions, and stir, soften for 3-5 min. Add minced garlic clove and cook for 1 more minute. Add flour and whisk for 1 minute. Add corn, potatoes, and stock, and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from heat, and add cream cheese and whisk until melted. Then add milk and whisk until blended. Season with salt and pepper, adding more to taste.

Top with favorite toppings and serve.


A Southern Dinner

February 26, 2017

(Hi Food Lovers – just a note to say as I completed my edits for my book I got behind on everything, including blogging here. I am attempting to make it up to you with not just one recipe, but a whole meal. These recipes are truly all new favorites on our rotation, and it feels so good to be back sharing a love of food with you here.) 

It’s hard to step your baby toe into a love of food without feeling the effects of Southern Cuisine on America. Southern Cooking has become synonymous with cooking with soul, or love, or heart, or something approximating all three. But you don’t need to get philosophical to know that southern food just tastes good. With its mixture of rich fatty meat, an ample supply of butter and cheese, and tangy, vinegary liquids, most of which have been cooked long and slow, its hard not to end up with something that will make your belly and your soul very happy.

So when my southern friend Christy sent me her recipe for Collard Greens around New Years, followed up with some lovely gifts and priceless staples like grits and seasoning they use in their kitchen to achieve that authentic flavor, I knew I wanted to see if my Northern Kitchen could make those flavors appear.

Turns out, it can. I thought I’d use some of these gifts for a whole southern meal, complete with a rib recipe that we’ve been loving. The result was amazing fall-apart ribs, collard greens that were so flavorful, they tasted like they were from a restaurant in the south, and baked cheddar grits that were so good they’ll make your toes curl. Or at least make you want to curl up for a nap. All of these make up such quintessential comfort food, it’s no wonder it’s called soul food.

So let’s start with the my favorite:


Collard Greens à la Christy


This recipe has a short cut that I highly recommend: buy the seasoning packet from Uncle Wiley’s which my friend sent me. Whatever kind of magic is in there, it sure makes for some delicious greens. If you don’t want to bother, just play around with your garlic powder, salt and pepper until it tastes seasoned. The salt pork adds some salt too so go easy at the start of it simmering.

This recipe delivers you a huge pot of good for you greens, plus a whole bunch of broth that I sipped for the next three days and just made me feel amazing. I was writing a lot that week, and I would get so excited when I brought up a hot, salty mug to sip while I worked. Christy said it’s called “pot likker” and all I know is its pretty life affirming. Or at least during editing season. I found my collard greens at my local store so hope yours carries it too.

Collard Greens à la Christy (printer version here):

When I got the photo of the recipe, it was officially titled “Collards and Peas” which just sounds like a great dish, doesn’t it? She said her husband traditionally makes the peas separate from the collards by boiling them in a little chicken broth, which is what I did. Then you just serve it together. But here is the cast of characters:

“Collards and Peas” 

3/4 container of peas, soaked overnight, then cooked in chicken broth (can use frozen)

1/2 an onion

3 bunches collards, sliced

1 salted pork pack (I had a large package and just used a slice that was about one inch thick and it was just right)

garlic, salt and pepper (or use Uncle Wiley’s seasoning packet)

3 stalks celery (I sliced them and loved them, but you don’t have to if you want to just use it for flavor)

dollop of chicken bullion

Optional: add a splash of malt vinegar at the end.


Trim collards from stems which are bitter. Then chop them up and place them in a huge pot of water. Add pork, onion, spices, and a huge dollop of chicken bullion. There is no right or wrong ratio for the peas and collards, essentially just throw everything into a pot, bring to a boil, then simmer until leaves are tender. You can also served with black-eyed peas and diced tomato. 



So you’re going to want to pin this recipe too.

I don’t know about you, but after having eaten great ribs from friends and restaurants, I was sort of in the camp that I would let them make them and I’ll happily eat them.

But then I found this recipe from Chef Charlie McKenna in Better Homes & Gardens, who has some deep southern roots and an award winning BBQ restaurant in Chicago. He made ribs seem…doable. So when my daughter asked for ribs for her birthday a while ago, I tried them, and they were SO easy and SO good: falling of the bone, smokey, juicy, and well-seasoned.

The secret is you flavor them up with mustard and the rub, then cook them low for 2 hours, sealed in a tin foil envelope, so they stay really juicy. Then flash grill them for 10 minutes with BBQ sauce. The rub mixture makes enough for 3-4 rack of ribs, and I store mine in a tightly sealed jar. And I have made my own sauce, but in a pinch, I have used a good jar too.

I love that you can cook these all year round if you use an indoor grill pan. One rack of ribs feeds our family very comfortably.

Oven-to-Grill Ribs (printer version here):


  • 13 1/2 pound rack pork loin back ribs
  • 1/4cup yellow mustard
  • 1cup BBQ Rub
  • 1/2cup BBQ Sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With a pastry brush, spread the mustard all over both sides of the ribs. Generously sprinkle the rub all over both sides of the ribs.
  2. Place ribs in the middle of a double thickness of heavy foil cut 6 inches longer than the ribs. Wrap ribs in the foil. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until tender (the two middle bones of the rack should start to pull apart easily).
  3. Remove ribs to a tray (discard liquid in foil packet). Spread the sauce all over both sides of the ribs. Grill on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium heat for 15 minutes, brushing with additional sauce every 5 minutes, turning once. Adjust heat as necessary to prevent burning.



  1.  Place celery seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and coriander seeds in a spice grinder and grind until fine. Mix together with remaining ingredients. Store leftovers in a dry, cool place.

BBQ Sauce


  1.  Whisk all ingredients together in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill up to 2 weeks.

Recipe originally printed in Better Homes and Gardens.


Baked Cheesy Grits

Normally I test totally new recipes like this, but turns out Baked Grits are very easy and with the help of butter and cheese turn out delicious no matter what you do. (Ok, scorching the bottom of pan might not work). I merged a number of recipes online, which were all very similar, keeping notes as I went, and they turned out just the way I was hoping. Maybe it was the authentic grits sent from Georgia? Now my mind is dreaming about fried polenta.

Baked Cheesy Grits (printer version here):

5 cups chicken broth

1 1/4 cups grits, rinsed

4T.  Butter

1/2 t. garlic salt

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

1 cup (4 oz) sharp cheddar, divided

1 cup (4 oz) monterey jack

1/2 cup milk

3 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bring chicken broth just to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; gradually whisk in butter and grits. Reduce heat, and simmer, whisking constantly, 5 to 7 minutes or until grits are done. Remove from heat.
  2. Add seasoning, milk, half the cheddar cheese and all of the monteray jack cheese. Stir until completely combined and cheese is melted. Taste for seasoning, adjusting if needed. Add eggs and combine well. Pour into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining half cup of cheddar cheese.
  3. Bake, covered, at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until mixture is set. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. 

I hope you take a trip to the South via your taste buds and try these out! They are delicious and memorable, and with friends like Christy, definitely Soul Food.

xoxo, Katie

Giada’s ‘House’ Soup

January 27, 2017

Oh, January. You’re so cold. And you make me want to curl up on the couch and watch TV and eat popcorn. Which then makes my pants feel tight.

Luckily, you also make me crave a big bowl of steaming soup.

I recently got Giada DiLaurentiis’ new cookbook, Happy Cooking: Make Every Meal Count without Stressing Out.

She is not the first chef to point out how lovely it is that soups are so flexible and can use up odds and ends in the fridge, but she had me at kale and sausage, and even more when she added lemon and Parmesan cheese rind to the broth (one of my very favorite cooking tricks – it adds instant umami).

She calls for farro which I often have a hard time finding – (I finally found a source though and I can’t wait to make David Leibovitz’s Farro with Mushrooms and Bacon). So I used lentils instead, and I loved it. It would be great with white beans, rice, chick peas, Northern Beans…you get the idea.

The lemon and the Parm in the broth makes this soup so comforting and flavorful. And of course, you feel great after you eat it.

Also – if you saw my Instagram Story about how I made strawberry fruit leather, I got the recipe from this cookbook. But you can find a similar recipe here and a video here though I love that Giada uses 2 T. agave and 2 T. lemon juice with 1 pint of fresh strawberries and it tasted so fresh and bright and good.

So look out, February. I’m coming for you. And I have a big pot of soup that will fuel me through.

Happy Eating, xoxo Katie



Giada’s “House” Soup (printer version here): 

Gilda’s Note: This soup was created to use up odds and ends, so feel free to substitute the grains, beans, pasta, and veggies with the ones you want to use up. Just don’t omit the cheese rind or lemon; they give the soup a lovely savory flavor.

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 leek white and tender green parts, washed well & finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped (Giada recommends 1 sliced and 1 chopped)

½ fennel bulb, cored and finely chopped

Kosher salt

½ t. Crushed red pepper flakes

¾ c. dried small white beans, such as navy

½ -¾ cup lentils (Giada’s calls for farro but I wanted to use lentils)

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes

2 quarts chicken broth

2-3 fresh thyme sprigs

1 (2×3 inch) piece of Parmesan rind

½ lemon

13 oz. turkey kielbasa or any kind of sausage (I used chorizo), cut into half-moons

4-5 large leaves of Tuscan kale, ribs removed, chopped

Freshly grated Parm for serving

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the leek, carrots, and fennel, season with about ½ t. salt and the red pepper flakes, and saute slowly until very soft but not browned.
Add the beans and the lentils and toast for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes with their juices and the chicken broth, thyme, Parmesan rind, and half lemon. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a steady simmer and cook for about 40 minutes or until the beans are tender but not mushy. Season to taste with salt.
Add the kielbasa, kale, and sliced carrot. Cook until the kale and carrot are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove and dicard the thyme sprigs, Parm rind, and lemon (squeeze into the soup before discarding). Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of Parm if you like.