The Soup to End All Soups (for now)

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with soup.  When I was small, I famously told my mother “I hate ‘toup’ and I don’t like ‘tew’ either”…I have yet to live that down!  But in the intervening 20-some odd years, I have learned that I do, in fact, like soup, and even stew, but I’m awfully picky.  No cream of condensed concoctions need apply, or processed food ingredients, for that matter.  I like soup, but made of whole, fresh ingredients, from scratch, with wuv.  Which means that sometimes I spend hours making the perfect stew (boeuf bourguignon, I’m looking at you!).  And sometimes I want soup, but don’t want to make soup.

But sometimes.  Sometimes, I am inspired in spite of myself!  Take last night…I didn’t really want to make soup.  I had every intention of just making sausage & potato hash for dinner, but then, some sweet potatoes snuck in, and brought carrots with them.  And the kale showed up and wanted in on the action.  And suddenly nothing sounded better than creamy, veggie studded, chorizo and kale soup.  So that’s what I made (considering I was already partway there, it wasn’t hard, and took less than 40 minutes total).  And it was filling and delicious and creamy and everything a spicy sausage soup should be!

Sausage & Kale Soup

  • 3/4 lb. fresh chorizo sausage, uncased (I prefer spicy, but mild will also do nicely)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 small red potatoes, diced (1/2″ cubes)
  • 1 garnet yam, diced (also 1/2″ cubes)
  • 4 medium carrots, diced (1/2″ cubes…see a pattern here?)
  • 4 tsp. beef bullion base
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chopped kale (bit size pieces)
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream

Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat.  Add the chorizo and crumble.  Let cook 5 or 6 minutes to render fat while you chop veggies. 

Add onions and carrots to sausage and cook about 4 minutes.  Stir occasionally so nothing scorches.

Dissolve bullion base in some of the water, then add potatoes, yams, bullion, and remaining water to the pot.  Be sure veggies are amply covered by liquid, add bay leaves, and cover the pot.  Simmer for 10 minutes, till potatoes and yams are beginning to get tender. 

Add kale and stir into soup, cover the pot and cook an additional 10 minutes.  Make sure kale, potatoes, and yams are all tender and cooked to your liking; if not, cook a little more. 

When veggies are cooked, remove soup from flame.  Scoop out a cup or so of the broth and temper the cream (mix cream into the broth you just scooped out slowly so it heats up gradually and doesn’t curdle) then add tempered cream back to the main soup pot: pour slowly and stir well while adding. 

Ladle soup into bowls and enjoy with  some crusty bread.

This soup is loosely based on all the Caldo Verde recipes that have come before it in my kitchen (sausage + potato + greens + cream = soup), but this is a little bit ddifferent, and I blame the carrots and sweet potatoes for imparting little nuggets of sweet surprise that those other soups do not have.  Not that I won’t make Caldo Verde in a heartbeat, but, it’s a different soup.  And for now, this is my favorite soup.

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