Potato, Sausage, and Kale Winter Soup
There’s nothing quite like curling up with a big bowl of steaming soup at the end of a long, cold, and wet day like today. Our morning began with us running late, taking a little too long to get dressed. It progressed with a pantless and sockless Finn yammering for his morning smoothie and swiping at a bottle of apple cider vinegar I’d left out on the island the night before. Ethan, my helpful boy, reached to grab it away from Finn’s little hands but accidentally slid it right off the table—smash. Stinky vinegar and tiny shards of glass everywhere. I quarantined the kids to their stools, made smoothies, threw together the bbq meatballs I’d promised Ethan I’d make for their school “Lunch of Thanks” pot luck, and faced a wreck that NEEDED to be cleaned up before we left. I was spent by 8:15am. Dinner needed to be easy and satisfying. Soup it is.
We sport large bowls and large spoons around here, as our soup and stew habit is serious. Sometime I make dinners that take a wile to meld, flavors fusing as it bubbles on the stove for an hour or gets popped in the oven for several. Other times, we are struggling to get the kids to bed and get ourselves fed when all we want to do is collapse on the couch.
Enter my Potato, Sausage, and Kale Winter Soup. It came about one night when we needed something relatively fast and I needed to use some kale and cream before they went bad. Grabbing some sweet italian sausage from the freezer—a staple around here for soups and pastas—I threw this bowl of yum together in a little over 30 minutes, faster if you cut your potatoes extra small.
Sure cream makes it a little less healthy, but even Stu can’t stop talking about how good this is each time I make it. It’s easy to get started and leave to simmer while we finish bedtime routines, overall the hands-on time is minimal. I claim this will feed four, but if you portion like we do, I’d say it’s more like three…basically, if you are hungry, double it.
I can’t resist creamy soups, they give me the warm fuzzies that are just. so. gratifying, and I especially love that still this particular version still feels so light. The fennel in the sausage is highlighted by the sweetness of the red onion, along with the red pepper flakes they result in a rich and slightly spicy broth. Served with a glass of red wine and a glowing fire, this makes my night. Add a salad and big loaf of crusty bread and it would be perfect for guests.
Try it and let me know what you think!
Potato, Sausage, and Kale Winter Soup
Makes 4 servings
4-5 medium yukon gold potatoes (or red, or russet, whatever!), unpeeled, medium cubes
1 pound Italian sausage, crumbled
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 red onion, small diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
dash of oregano
dash of red pepper flakes, more if you like spice
dash of grated nutmeg
heavy sprinkle of kosher salt
5-6 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 TBSP cornstarch mixed with 1-2 TBSP water
5-6 leaves of lacinato kale, ribs removed, rough chopped
Sauté sausage until brown and crispy, drain fat if necessary. Add onions and garlic, cook until translucent and aromatic. Sprinkle in oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add potatoes and cook for a few minutes before adding broth, bay leaf, and cloves. You can put the bay leaf and cloves in cheese cloth and tie with baking twine if you want to make them easy to fish out, but I just throw them in. Let all this simmer over medium-low heat for a good 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Add heavy cream and cornstarch mixture and let it simmer another 10 minutes. Add the kale, nutmeg, and check seasonings, adding salt and pepper if necessary. Give it one last stir.
Serve in big bowls with crusty bread. Enjoy!
It’s also very good leftover a day or two.
For more soups and stews to warm up your winter, be sure to check out my recipes page. What’s your favorite winter dinner?