Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sausage, Kale, and Sweet Potato Soup

It’s been rainy, windy, stormy, and cold in Seattle! It’s most definitely fall, and I couldn’t be happier about it. While I am sad to see the sun go away (not that it really ever showed up this year), I’m stoked out of my mind for stews, baked goods, soups, pumpkins, apple cider, apple cider cake (I made it, yum!), soups, Halloween, boots and scarves, soups, Thanksgiving, mulled wine, and lots and lots of soup. Oh, did I mention soup?!

Guess what?!?! I love soup! I think it’s souper. Get it, soup…er? Ok, so maybe that was overkill, but I really do love soup of all kinds. Brothy soup, veggie soup, hot soup, cold soup, meaty soup, chunky soup, noodle soup, and extra hearty soup, like this one, with sausage, potatoes, and kale.

I wanted to add something leafy to my typical potato soup, but I knew Evan wouldn’t go for the green unless I countered it with something spicy and made of animal. So, in addition to russet potatoes, onions, and carrots, this soup is chock full of kale, spicy-smokey Andouille sausage, garlic, and sweet, buttery chunks of sweet potato (I just couldn’t pass it up at the grocery store!). It ended up being nothing like my normal potato soup (I also didn't add milk or cream), but it’s so good and hearty that it will definitely be on the soup rotation from here on out.

PS. Evan claims to hate kale, but ate every last leafy green bit in his bowl.

Sausage, Kale, and Potato Soup

Olive oil
1 T butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, chopped
4 fully cooked smoked sausage links (like spicy Andouille), sliced
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (I used the orange variety, sometimes referred to as a yam)
Salt, pepper
Pinch of rosemary (fresh or dried)
Red pepper flakes (to taste, a used a hearty pinch)
1 bunch/head of kale, washed, ribs/stems removed, and chopped
8 cups of chicken broth

Add a few pours of olive oil and the butter to a stock pot or Dutch oven, heat on medium. Add onion, and cook until translucent. Add garlic and carrots, and cook until fragrant, but don’t let garlic burn or brown too much. Add salt, pepper, rosemary, and red pepper flakes to taste. Add sausage, and cook until slightly crisp on the edges—we want it to really meld with the flavor of the onions and garlic, and to release some of it’s fat into the pot. Next, add russet potatoes and cook for a minute or two, just long enough for the potatoes to start sticking to the bottom of the pot, but not enough to burn. Add broth, and bring to a boil, scraping cooked bits off the bottom of the pot. Boil for a few minutes, then add the sweet potatoes. Taste, and add more salt/pepper/flakes, if needed. Turn heat to medium/low, cover, and simmer. When potatoes are soft and starting to break apart (you’ll have to start checking after about 10 minutes), add kale. Cook for a few more minutes, until kale has reduced, and serve (with crusty French bread on a blustery fall night).
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