Monday, January 20, 2014

Spicy Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup

So we woke up on a few Wednesdays ago and it was in the single digits. 

I mean the temperature.

I don't remember it being this cold since the year younger daughter was born. I almost went stir-crazy with an infant and a gazillion feet of snow and ice outside for an entire month along with temperatures like those of the ice age.  I didn’t dare take her outside.  The only person I had to talk to during the day was older daughter…thank goodness her eight-year-old self was able to carry on a decent conversation. 

And we played with her Pink Barbie Ferrari and Dream House and read Nancy Drew books.

That’s what it felt like that week, not the Barbie or Nancy stuff but the temperature.  So, imagine our glee when we arrived at Foodie’s house and she served Spicy Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup.  Both the heat of the soup and the zip of the sausage and spices immediately warmed our innards.
And you know our little crew loves soup.

I was paging through a magazine and the author of an article commented “so when did kale get a publicist?” You know, I was wondering the same thing!  It seems like this reticent little wallflower of the green, leafy vegetable family has emerged into the sweetheart of the pack, perhaps because if its powerhouse nutritional benefits and the fact that it’s just plain good.   Every magazine I pick up includes a kale-related recipe, like the Kale Juice and Kale Turkey Rice Bowl recipes in the current edition of Food Network Magazine. 

I seem to recall that several years ago arugula enjoyed the same spotlight… arugula must have hired the same publicist.

This particular recipe is from    Instead of using pork sausage, Foodie used a combo of chicken-wine sausage, sweet Italian and hot Italian. 

Spicy Sausage, Potato and  Kale Soup

1 pound spicy Italian sausage
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
2 large bunches of kale, stemmed and chopped, about 4 overflowing handfuls
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 medium or 2 large russet baking potatoes, sliced
8 cups chicken broth or stock, 2 boxes
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Heat a large heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat. Once the pot has heated through, add the sausage, which you removed from the casing. Using a wooden spoon, begin to break up the sausage and allow it to cook, stirring occasionally, until it has fully browned. Remove the crisped sausage from the pot and transfer it to a plate or bowl. Set aside.

2. Lower the heat to medium, add the butter or oil and throw in the onions and garlic. Stir, scraping down the bottom of the pot picking up the browned bits of sausage with the back of a wooden spoon, and cook until soft and translucent about 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, if using. Continue to sauté until the onions have caramelized. Add the chopped kale in batches, allowing it to wilt down as it cooks. Add the nutmeg and stir (nutmeg is a must with leafy greens!). Cook the kale for another 3 minutes until it has turned bright green and completely wilted down. Throw in the sliced potatoes and cooked sausage.

3. Pour in the chicken stock or broth and bring it up to a boil. Lower the heat and allow the soup to simmer until the potatoes are tender and soft. Taste the soup and add more salt, pepper or red pepper flakes, if desired. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, stir in the heavy cream.
Foodie served the soup with some homemade focaccia  bread.

No comments: