Howdy all, hope you had a nice weekend! I woke up to dark and stormy skies on Saturday, but shook my fist at Mother Nature and decided to move forward with my morning plans anyways – strolling through the Farmers’ Market with my Mom!


We hadn’t been in weeks, and were positivity tickled to find that we practically had the place to ourselves. It seemed most chose to stay at home rather than risk getting caught in the rain.


More samples for us! ;) (PS have you ever had a yellow watermelon? It was my first time, and I was shocked at how sweet it was. Nearly double that of a red. So yum!)


I stocked up on hedge apples to keep Fall buggies out of the house (place next to all doors that lead outside on a small piece of foil. Totally works!)


And got a Spinach & Cheese Pupusa to share with my Mom!


We felt guilty about eating this much masa and cheese at 8:30am for about 14 seconds before completely demolishing it.




The rain eventually came later that morning, so Ben and I spent the remainder of the day strolling through the mall, reading, and watching The Notebook, which sent me into an emotional tailspin. I had never seen it before and have never felt so happy yet depressed at the same time. What a tear jerker! (And HELL-o, where has Ryan Gosling been all my life?)

Blue skies prevailed this morning so Ben and I decided to get one final use out of our summer fishing licenses and try our luck at snagging a few swimmers at a nearby lake.


I might have completely made this up, but I feel like the day after rain is the best time to go fishing.

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Actually, I probably did make that up because we got nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. AGAIN! Tons of nibbles, but in the end our hooks got more action from the pond weeds than the blue gills (which I could see in the water, yet they wanted nothing to do with my bait.) Little jerks.


A little kitchen therapy had me feeling better. I made a big pot of Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup when we got home.

If you live in Iowa then you know it was about 90 degrees today, but I literally could not help myself. Saturday’s dreary weather had me itching to make something cozy, and I am so into Fall foods right now it’s not even funny. If you had one sip of this soup, you’d totally get it too!


Chopped carrots, onions and garlic mingle with fresh kale, creamy white beans, salty kielbasa, and savory parmesan cheese in this easy, flavorful soup recipe. I can already tell I’ll be making it all winter long, using the kale I’ve been chopping and freezing from my garden!


Start the Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup by sauteing 3 sliced carrots and 1/2 chopped onion in 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a big soup pot over medium heat. When the veggies are tender, add 2 cloves minced garlic and 1/2lb polska kielbasa (double check the package to make sure it’s gluten-free. Johnsonville is!)

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Once the kielbasa is golden brown add 4 cups chicken broth into the pot while scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen up all the yummy brown bits. Mmmm.


Next add 1 bay leaf, and a small piece of parmesan cheese rind. Whole Foods sells leftover parmesan cheese rinds (for pennies!) for this exact use – adding tons of flavor and a nice richness to soup. So next time you whiddle through a wedge, be sure to save the rind in the freezer to add to your next pot.

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Then add 1 can drained & rinsed Great Northern Beans, and 4 cups chopped kale. FYI cannellini beans are traditionally used in Tuscan White Bean Soup, but I like Great Northern’s better because they’re smaller and more creamy.

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Place a lid on the pot and simmer until the kale is tender, about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.


Finally, sprinkle in 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese then give the pot one big final stir.


That’s all she wrote!


Serve with an extra sprinkling of parmesan cheese, if you please, then dig in!


Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup

4.5/5 (3 REVIEWS)


Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup is hearty yet light, and packed with vegetables and kielbasa. The perfect cold-weather soup!


Serves 4

  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or microplaned
  • 1/2 lb gluten-free kielbasa, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used Johnsonville brand)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2x2" Parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups chopped kale (remove leaves from stems/center vein before chopping)
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add carrots and onions then season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds then add kielbasa and cook for 3 more minutes.
  2. Add chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen brown bits, then add beans, Parmesan cheese rind, and bay leaf. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in kale then place a lid on the pot, turn heat down to medium-low, and simmer until kale is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese then taste and adjustment seasonings if necessary.
  3. Remove bay leaf (Parmesan cheese rind can stay in - it will continue to flavor leftovers) then serve with additional Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, if desired.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.


Light yet hearty, Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup is perfectly satisfying and seriously, obnoxiously good. Ben and I both gave it two thumbs up.


Plus it’ll just get better and better as it sits. Awesome for leftover lunches with an apple or salad.


Well folks – it’s time to go unwind before the start of another crazy week! Have a great night!


What was the highlight of your weekend?