Winter Soup

Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I talk about cooking a lot, but I don’t know if I would call myself a chef. I haven’t really created recipes and if I do, it’s not like it’s a mind-blowing never before seen combination.

One thing I’ve noticed is that I can adapt recipes pretty easily to make it my own. I know that the original version of the recipe is tasty, but changing it and adding my ideas makes me much more excited. Especially enjoying the outcome and hearing good remarks back from others eating it. It’s a sense of being proud of this project that I made my own.

Soup completeOn to the food… Mardi Gras has past, basketball season is getting intense, daylight saving time is this weekend, and Easter is almost here. Not only are these things a few of my favorite things, but they also are good indications that Spring is on the way!

On that note, I figure I should get this soup on the blog now. Plus everyone got a lot of snow over the last week and half so it seems appropriate for now.

Winter Soup
Adapted from An Open Cookbook’s Autumn Soup

1 lb ground sausage (or beef, or turkey, or chicken)soup ingredients
1 small onion
3 celery hearts
3 carrots
15 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
2 medium red potatoes
3 cups water
pinch of salt, pepper, basil

Things I added:

3 cups of broth (any kind works)
1 cans (15 oz ish) of cannellini beans, drained
kale

Dice the onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes. Brown sausage in a deep pot. Add onions. Drain fat. Add remaining ingredients except for beans, kale, ¾ cup of broth. Let it all simmer for 10-15 minutes. Now, you can stop here if you’d like. The original recipe called for just this.

kaleWhile simmering, cut up the kale. What I’ve learned about kale: It’s really, really healthy, but tough to eat unless cooked. You can find it at the grocery store by the lettuce. Not the boxed lettuce but by the whole heads of lettuce section. Make sure you wash it when you bring it home. The stems are really bitter tasting so you want to just use the leaves. I chopped off the long stem to the point where the leaves start then slices the leaf off on each side of the stem.  Chop up the leaves in to bite size pieces. I ended up with a cereal bowl full of kale.

Bean pasteAnother thing to do while simmering, after the kale, is something I discovered while googling if cannellini beans would be good in a sausage soup. Since this a very liquid based soup (water & broth), you can give it a bit of a different texture by combining the rest of the broth and about 1/2 can of the beans in a blender or food processor. Blend till smooth-ish. It will be a liquidy paste. I didn’t have enough beans so mine was more liquidy than pasty but it still helped. Or you can just skip this step and add in the full can of beans as is.

Add the remaining beans, bean paste (sounds gross, doesn’t it?), and kale. Stir the kale in so it can cook and get softer. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, and basil. And enjoy!Soup simmering

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