Sunday, February 12, 2012

take that, February

Kale and Smoked Sausage Soup
Feelin' chilly, chickadees?  Find yourself wearing socks to bed and contemplating wearing more than one scarf at a time?  Well, this divine soup will warm you right up.  It's from Martha Stewart (recipe here).  The recipe makes enough for 4 hungry folks, or one chilly single gal with leftovers for the fridge and freezer.  Take those mittens off for a minute and let's get started!

Chop one onion and saute in a deep soup pot for about 10 minutes in 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat.

Add two chopped cloves of garlic and as much crushed red pepper as you like (I used about 1/2 teaspoon).

Cook for just a couple of minutes and then add in about 6 cups of chicken broth/stock.  If you're Ina Garten and live in the Haaamptons and have minions to make homemade chicken stock for you, use that.  If not, join me in using the quick boxed stuff.  I meant to buy low-sodium broth.  Using this broth (combined with the chicken sausage that comes later), I didn't need to add salt to this soup at all.

Add in some potatoes (again as many as you like).  I used these adorable teeny taters, but if you're using a larger potato, use 3 large potatoes and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Cover and bring to a boil and then simmer, uncovered, for about fifteen minutes until those spuds are tender.  (Le Creuset did not pay me for this product placement...yet.)
Now take a big bunch of kale.  Kale is one of those "superfoods" that is very good for you.  It also happens to be just about the cheapest fella in the produce section.

 (Apparently Hayden wants some more kale in his life.)

 After rinsing your kale, you want to take those tough stems out.  The easiest way to do this is put your knife against the side of the stem, hold the knife in place, and pull the stem upwards.  Chop roughly.

Now let's get our chicken sausage ready.  Oh, this stuff is good.  You want to buy pre-cooked chicken sausage (it's actually the easiest way to find chicken sausage).  I found this delightful roasted red pepper and asiago chicken sausage and used three links of it.

Half the sausage lengthwise and cut in half moons.  Or half circles.  Or Pacman smiley shapes.

 (Hayden got really excited when the chicken sausage made an appearance!)

Now that the potatoes are tender, give the soup a little whir with an immersion blender until just a bit blended (but still with plenty of potato pieces).  If you don't have one of these contraptions, you can take half of the soup and puree it in a food processor or a blender.  If you don't have either one of those, you can just take a potato masher to it.  If you don't have a potato masher, then honey, get thyself to Target.

Add in the chicken sausage and kale and simmer until the kale is tender, about 10 more minutes.

 Whenever I'm cooking with any kind of green, I always add a little bit of freshly grated nutmeg.  It just wakes up the flavors.

And that's it!  The broth is rich and deeply flavored from the sausage, the potatoes are delightfully creamy and the kale adds a great heartiness.

What a way to beat that February cold snap.

Bon appetit!


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