24 August 2011
I don’t know if I’ve made this abundantly clear or not (I have), but I freaking love soup. As long as I’m not hot, I’ll eat it. Even in the summer, as long as I’m not eating it outside in the sun, I’m fine with it.
As summer turns to fall, expect to see lots of soup recipes on the blog. Why do I love soup? Because the possibilities are endless, warm liquid soothes the soul, and it’s a way to incorporate lots of veggies and awesome protein into a meal without all the unnecessary filler. Also, it’s hard to fake soup! You usually have to build flavor slowly in order to create something amazing.
This Creamy Sausage & Kale soup is an old standby that requires minimal ingredients and fairly minimal effort. The key is getting good sausage and cooking it in the soup pot itself.
You’ll need (makes 8-10 servings):
- one bunch kale, cut or torn into bite-size pieces.
- two 16-oz. cartons of chicken broth (free-range/organic if possible)
- 3/4 C diced onion (or TJ’s Mire Poix. I love this stuff because it’s a great start to any sauce or soup!)
- 3/4 C diced celery (or TJ’s Mire Poix)
- 3/4 C diced carrot (or TJ’s Mire Poix)
- lots of salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you like. I use Everyday Seasoning from Trader Joe’s.
- 2 C heavy cream
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- optional: 14-oz can white kidney beans (I’ve used them before but didn’t this time.)
- 5-6 Italian sausages. This time, I used these from Trader Joe’s:
- Start by sauteing the sausages in a tablespoon of olive oil. Be sure to saute them in the pot in which you plan on making the rest of the soup! This imparts their delicious flavor to the broth.
- Once the sausages are browned on both sides, remove them from the pan and slice them into bite-size pieces. It’s okay if they’re not cooked through because they’ll finish cooking in the soup.
- Put the sausage pieces back in the pot and add the onion, celery, and carrot. You may want to add a bit more olive oil at this point.
- Season liberally with salt, pepper, and other seasonings. You could go the Italian route (basil, oregano, thyme, etc.), or a spicier route with crushed red pepper, paprika, and chili powder.
- Let everything cook down for 5-10 minutes, or until the onions start to get transparent.
- Add the chicken broth and bring everything to a boil.
- Turn down the heat, letting the soup cool to a light simmer. Then, add the kale.
- Let everything simmer together for 10-20 minutes.
- Remove soup from heat (this is crucial!), wait a few minutes, then stir in cream. You don’t want the soup to be too hot when you add cream or it will curdle. This won’t affect the taste, but it won’t look pretty!
- Serve with parsley and/or grated parmesan for garnish.
Filling, balanced, and suitable for a late summer meal. Love! It could easily be made vegan by using beans instead of sausage and coconut milk instead of cream.