Mezzi Rigatoni Soup with Italian Sausage & Kale

I have been aboslutley dying to make this Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage & Kale from one of my all-time fav foodies, The Modern Proper, and finally had the chance the other day! You could actually taste the excitement in the air as I decided this is what I was going to do with my Sunday 🙂



In my excitement, I have to admit that I didn’t do the greatest grocery shopping… When I got home and pulled out my ingredients it turned out that the “kale” I had purchased was actually mustard greens (for three seconds I wondered if that would work before smelling them and deciding absolutely not). Back to the store for me! In my defense, the mustard greens were mixed in on the kale shelf and I had grabbed the wrong one 🙂  Still have no idea what I’m actually going to do with those mustard greens…

This is the first soup I had ever made with kale. I was shocked when I looked at the soup base I had created, and then read the instructions to put an entire bunch of kale into the pot. Where is this going to go? Is this going to turn into a gross soupy salad? I was so impressed by how much it cooks down; it could truly take the entire bunch.

  • Tip: I would recommend slicing the kale (maybe a bit thicker than you would for a kale salad). I put them in as nearly whole leaves, and it was a lot to pull out in a spoonful. Either shred the kale a bit by hand, or you can fully chop it before putting it in so you’ll have more manageable pieces to eat.

Also, since I eat dairy free, I used coconut milk instead of the heavy cream. This wasn’t a disaster, but frankly, I wouldn’t recommend it. The flavor was pretty strong and that is just not the flavor that you want to come through with this soup. If you’re making a dairy free version, I would recommend going with A2 milk so you still have the regular milk flavor with none of the lactose (I also considered almond milk, but thought it might be a little funky as well. The challenges of dairy free cooking!).

Finally, the original recipe calls for tortellini, which I’m sure would be amazing, but of course there was none to be had when I was doing my shopping! Threw in a good chunky pasta for good measure!

You can find the full recipe here. Also, I topped mine with homemade croutons (not normally my style, but I made the bread as well – leftovers from our Holiday Star Bread master dough!)

Good luck! Absolutely recommend this one and will be making it again myself!

xx Jess


Farro and Kale Salad

I had an amazing Farro salad the other week (pool-side, thanks to the Labor Day holiday) that really had me craving more. Farro isn’t something I have worked with too often, but I really love it. I’m honestly not much of a salad person, but learning to appreciate those that are so much more than salad dressing (ew, right there) on lettuce (come on). Farro is one of the easy ways that I know I’m more likely to enjoy a salad and not be hungry one hour later.

I found this Kale and Farro Salad from Giada de Laurentiis and set out to make a dairy-free version. I really just left the cheese out, but to be honest, it was missing something. Next time I’ll have to try this with a dairy-free cheese (cashew cheese is supposed to be amazing!) as it was just missing that little kick / bite that you get.

Kale is another thing that has been having its moment in the sun for the past two years or so, but can be a major red flag for some, me included. Often it’s tough, a bit flavorless, and just not that enjoyable to eat. I will say that prepping and slicing it correctly makes a HUGE difference. You have to take out the stem in the center, as that is just too tough, and then I followed a rolling + slicing technique (with a video!) I found from Marin Mama Cooks, which was super helpful, very easy, and honestly fun (and when it comes to salad, that’s saying something). I will say, the kale just keeps growing and growing! Once it was all de-stemmed and sliced, I had a literal mountain of it! There is still some in my fridge…

The other thing I loved about this salad was the dressing. I’m pretty anti pre-prepared / store-bought salad dressing as I have just never found one that I like and that isn’t overbearing. This salad was simply dressed with a combination of citrus fruit juice (lemon and orange) and olive oil. Perfect, light and so fresh.

We ended up eating the salad as a side dish all week-long and it was fantastic. I think due to the hearty kale and the citrus from the dressing, the salad kept its shape and flavor, and almost seemed better the second day when the flavors had seeped into the farro more.

Definitely one I would recommend to try! Also, if you’re subbing in something else for the cheese, let me know so we can try it too!

You can find the full recipe here.

xx Jess