A Taste of Fall in Michigan

Yesterday the temperature was right around 85 and sunny until about 5:00.  Then storm clouds blew in and the temperatures dropped.

This morning the temps were in the upper 50’s and never got higher than 63.  It was a beautiful fall day here in Michigan.  Perfect to harvest some kale and make a pot of hot soup for dinner.


The kale picked fresh from the garden this morning.

One of our favorite soups during the cool fall and cold winter months is a spicy Italian sausage soup based on the Tuscan Soup served at the chain restaurant Olive Garden.  Mine is different in that it is more of a chowder than a soup, hearty enough for a meal.  I’ve missed making soup early in the morning and letting it simmer all day, filling the house with comfort.  I’m glad that today we had a reprieve from the blistering hot summer and a sneak peek at the cooler days to come very soon.

Spicy Italian Sausage Soup (similar to Olive Garden’s Tuscan Soup)


  • 1 Pound Spicy or Mild Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 – 1 Pound Polish Sausage
  • 4 Large Russet Potatoes
  • 3 Cups Chopped Kale
  • 8 – 12 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 1/2 Cups Half & Half

Fry or grill sausage until brown.


Slice sausage into bite-size pieces.


Wash potatoes and cut, leaving skins on, into bite size pieces.


Wash kale – mine came right from the garden this morning, and remove thick portion of stem.


Chop kale.


In a large stock pot, combine sausage, potato, kale, and chicken broth.


Bring to boil and simmer on stove all day.  About a half hour before serving, add half and half.

This soup is so hearty that it is enough of a meal without any accompaniment.  Sometimes I’ll make bread, but today I made a pie for dessert instead.

Canning all the pie filling for the past couple months made me anxious to use some.  The weather being what it was, perfect for running the oven without the threat of heat stroke, I decided to pop open a few jars and whip up a pie.  Blueberry, cherry, and rhubarb made a wonderfully tart finish to our spicy soup dinner.


I love summer for all it has to offer in the way of fruits and vegetables, but this little taste of fall has me counting the days until everyday is a sweater day and comforter night.  Tonight the windows will be open, a thick comforter will be on my bed,  and a cool breeze will lull us to sleep, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.