I began to feel like a short-order cook, I would fix a huge dinner and then proceed to fix her a separate dinner just so she had something to eat that night. I'm blaming the fact I did this squarely on my mother. My younger brother (also painfully thin, and God why didn't that happen to me?) would never touch what my mom made us for dinner; he was allowed to eat a salami sandwich every night while the rest of us were forced to consume nasty stuff like liver or have our Dad yell at us (long story short, yes I still resent my Brother for being the special child, I'm totally kidding about that, well actually maybe I'm not).
Now that I'm all bent out of shape, let's move on to something more pleasant. One place that my daughter enjoyed going out to eat was Olive Garden, not my first choice, but childhood traumas have a funny way of resurfacing at odd times. I did however enjoy a bowl of their potato, kale and sausage soup or Zuppa Toscana as they called it. Being the picky food person I am I felt it needed a little something more (no that couldn't be where my daughter got her food issues, has to be my mother).
Zuppa Toscana Updated
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 leek, washed, cut in half and sliced
1 pound Italian Sausage, casings removed
1 - 32 ounce box of low-sodium chicken stock
2 russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
8 ounces whole crimini or button mushrooms, stems removed
5-6 ounces kale, chopped (I buy it ready to use in the bag)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup heavy cream
Makes 4 large servings.
This soup packs more flavor than the original and uses only the minimal amount of cream, with a little bread and salad dinner is done in no time.
As for the really good news, by the time my daughter left home she would eat pretty much anything I served her and I got to quit my short-order cook job.