A couple years ago one of my life long best friends, April, and her hubby, Jeff went on vacation with us to Florida. We live in Michigan, I don’t care to fly, so we drove. Apes (that’s what I call her) lives in Georgia and she gave us directions through the Smoky Mountains. Well, if you’ve ever driven through the Smoky Mountains, you may know where I’m headed. And I don’t mean to see Smokey the Bear.
The “Great Smokies” are a mountain range that are a “subrange of the Appalachian Mountains” and they stretch from Tennessee to North Carolina. They are beautiful. The thing is, they are also mountains. STEEP mountains. So, Apes tells us this route will shave off tons of time. The only problem is that Apes forgot that we were in a truck full of supplies for our trip to Florida. I do not pack light.
We entered the mountains not knowing what we were getting ourselves into. At first going “up” was breath taking and I was busy pointing everything out to our girls in the back seat. Then it came time to go “down”. My hubby’s truck is a beast, but with all of the weight of our luggage, we could feel the brakes struggling immediately. They were shaking, and making these really weird noises. At this point it seemed more like a roller coaster that wouldn’t stop going down. My youngest and I were both on the right side of the car and when we looked out our windows, it was straight down.
Our chatty Cathy’s in the back seat had become quiet mice. My feet and legs became numb from digging them into the floor board. My hubby’s positive outlook had faded and he was white as a sheet. We couldn’t stop, and our lives depended on these loud failing brakes. While others were stopping to view gigantic elk, we were on the ride from hell. It was long too. We aren’t talking 2 miles here folks, we are talking miles and miles going down, not knowing if we could stop. It was definitely a defining moment in our lives that we would never forget.
When we got to the bottom we thanked God for keeping our family safe. We also vowed NEVER to take directions from April again! (Love you Apes!)
So, what the heck does this story have to do with “Kale & Sausage Soup”?
Nothing, I just wanted to share this story with you, and the “Smoky Mountain” looks good on my label 😉
Seriously though…after that ride, a bowl of this rustic-stick-to-your-ribs-hearty-soup would sure taste good. So it fits after all.
- 4 cups raw, cleaned, trimmed kale
- 1 or 2 links sliced low fat turkey smoked sausage (Butterball)
- 2 46 oz. cans chicken broth
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 potatoes chopped w/ skin on
- 3 carrots diced
- sliced mushrooms (optional)
- 4-5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- dash of paprika
- s & p to taste
Clean kale by rinsing well, and pulling leaves off of stem. Add all ingredients above into a large pot and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Serve with crusty Italian bread. It's that simple.
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Julie…I have been through the Smokey Mountains on our way from Chicago to Florida (back in the day…waaaay back in the day!)…very scary. Especially the way the semi trucks come barreling around the corners! Plus, we hit this area once in the middle of the night. Ugh! Now we have a second home in North Carolina and we are here right now. Yesterday we went to another town and had the most beautiful ride through the Blue Ridge Mountains. And then I noticed these signs and ramps for truckers…they go off the highway along the right side and have “speed bumps” made of sand for about 500 feet and then a sandy sort of ramp that goes on an incline. Well, I may be a Northern Girl but it was obvious these ramps were for break failures and other calamities one might encounter. Oh yeah, we went around a few twists and turns that looking down would cause anyone to hyperventilate!!!
Thanks for the recipe…I love soups and stews and have been trying to find ways to get that good ‘ol kale into my diet! Thanks! 🙂
We would have killed for one of those ramps. The area we were in was like a park. It was off the main road. I don’t quite understand where, but we will never do it again, lol!
The first time my husband and I made a trip to the NC mountains we were driving a rental car. Can’t recall the model but it was a tiny little thing! ( my husband is cheap …he was thrilled that we could fill the tank for 8.00) I remember looking at those ramps and thinking if we ended up having to use one, we’d probably never be found because we’d just look like another “lump” in the sand!
We have been back to that area numerous times, but never in an itty bitty rental! LOL
That is so funny, Sally. Actually…even a bit scary too! EEK!
Julie, we live in the Smokey Mountain… have been here 13 years.. I love it here, (I am a flat land beach girl) but I stll get scared on some of the mountain roads… on the other hand my hubby, who was born and raised in the mountains loves to drive the back moutain roads.