This inspiration came from a Jamie Oliver recipe called Italian Bread and Cabbage Soup. This is the second time I have made this “soup” and by accident it turned out something like bread pudding, the first time on accident, the second on purpose. My version of it is called Savory Bread Pudding with Turkey Sausage and Collard Greens. Not to tute my own horn, but it is pretty good!
I basically took his ingredients and the basic steps but didn’t really measure anything (this seems to be a common theme in my cooking and its really exciting when I don’t f*ck it up, sometimes I am lazy, I mean adventurous!) I will measure it out for you below, but you can pretty much just throw it all together. Here is my recipe:
1 package of hot italian turkey sausage (or sweet italian)
1 bunch of collard greens
4-6 pieces of sourdough bread
3-4 tbsp of pancetta
2 tsp of anchovy paste
guzzle of olive oil
1 qt plus 2 cups of chicken stock (plus more if you prefer it to be more soupy!)
3 sprigs of rosemary
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup of fontina shredded
1/2 cup of pecorino or parmesan shredded
salt and pepper to taste
1. Boil the chicken stock and then add the cleaned and chopped collard greens. Cook until bright green and slightly tender. Take out and set aside. Keep the chicken stock aside as well.
2. Saute the pancetta and anchovy paste in a large skillet with olive oil. When the pancetta begins to sizzle add the turkey sausage. I squeezed the sausage out of the casings so it was crumbly. You can cook it before and cut it up and throw it in in chunks as well. Once the sausage has cooked, add the collard greens and rosemary (chop the rosemary)
3. While the sausage is cooking, grill or toast the bread. Cut your garlic in half and wipe the piece of garlic on the bread. The garlic will almost melt like butter onto the bread and give it great flavor!
4. Arrange the bread in a glass baking dish ( 9×12). Pour the collard green and sausage mixture over the bread. You can keep adding layers if you would like, but this will require you to double your ingredients, unless you use a smaller pan. I just did one layer and found that to be satisfying. Next, pour in your chicken stock covering everything. If you would like the dish to be more soupy, be sure you can see lots of stock in the dish, the bread will soak it all up quickly. Next, grate the two cheeses over the whole dish. Drizzle wit olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes.
I did a few things different the first and second time. The first time I did sweet italian sausage, and the second hot italian. The hot italian had fennel in it which was a very strong flavor, not good or bad, just strong. I also did a different kind of sourdough, pancetta, I used fontina in the first one and raclette in the second ( I preferred the fontina). I also used my own homemade chicken stock in the first one mixed with a box chicken stock. THe homemade stock made a nice taste, but its not necessary.
It does have an interesting texture, like bread pudding. If you double the stock it will be much more soup like. I kind of like the bread pudding texture. Also, in Jamie Oliver’s recipe, he added a butter/sage sauce on top at the end. This is not necessary, but a nice decadent touch!