Thursday, October 19, 2017

Speedy Sausage, Kale & Potato Soup

Brrrrrr, early this morning the view through the window was wet, gray and totally uninspiring so I made the obvious decision to stay snugly tucked under the covers and read. Hours rolled by as The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt transported me into other lives, other worlds. No book review here; I'm still processing my many mixed responses to this lengthy Pulitzer Prize winning novel. But shortly after noon a series of annoying stomach rumbles reminded me that breakfast was a lost hope and I'd better get up and start moving on lunch prep. 

Soup fit my mood and the weather; quick comfort food is always a good thing on a cool, dreary day. The open bag of Halloween candy, my favorite Snickers bars conveniently stored on an adjacent kitchen counter, didn't even tempt as an emergency snack. Nope, instead some spicy chicken Andouille sausage, Yukon gold potatoes and curly kale prompted a flurry of chopping and cooking, tasting and seasoning without benefit of a recipe. The result? A warming bowl of soup that pleased us both. How do I know? RL ate two full servings and didn't even reach for the hot sauce. 

Lemon zest and juice added an extra pop to each bowl, brightening the flavor while avoiding a too-sour bite. Soups and stews typically improve with an overnight rest, so I am eagerly anticipating another bowlful at lunch tomorrow. 

 Speedy Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup
serves 3-4

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, medium dice
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 links cooked sausage, sliced (precooked chicken Andouille today)
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in 1" dice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried basil
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups kale, destemmed & roughly chopped
zest of 1 large lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup instant potato flakes (optional)
lemon wedges to serve alongside
shredded Parmesan cheese, optional

Heat the olive oil in a medium kettle over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for several minutes to soften. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute or so until fragrant. 

Add the coins of sausage, diced potatoes and herbs; toss to coat. Add the chicken broth and cook until the potatoes are just tender. 

Add the kale and cook a few minutes longer until softened. Stir in the lemon zest. Taste and adjust seasonings.

For a thicker broth, stir in instant potato flakes, 1/4 cup at a time. (You could mash the cooked potatoes to thicken the soup, but I like a thicker broth and potato chunks.)

Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with shredded Parmesan and serve with lemon wedges.

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