This is a super easy and basic soup. This is what I make to use up whatever I have hanging around in the fridge that needs to be used up. For example:
Sausage: this can be replaced with any sausage that you like (chicken, turkey, beef, pork, tofu), or any other protein you may have lying around. You could used leftover chicken breast here as well.
Kale: easily substituted with spinach, collards, swiss chard, taro leaves… basically any type of green, just adjust cooking time accordingly (spinach cooks faster than kale, collards take a bit longer, etc).
Potatoes: this gives the soup some “body”, but can be replaced with sweet potatoes or white beans. You could also add in cooked quinoa, rice or farro at the end of cooking for an added starch.
Vegetarian-ize it: omit the sausage completely and use a vegetable stock.
See? Super flexible right? Think of this soup recipe as a loose blueprint – you can build the house however you like, including the spices and herbs you use. Sage, thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary… this soup is your oyster!
Spicy Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup
makes 6 servings in ~60 minutes.
12 oz spicy sausage (I used Portuguese linguica – you can substitute your favorite turkey/chicken/pork/beef sausage)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 lbs baby potatoes, cut into 1″ chunks
1 quart chicken broth
1 quart water
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp chili flakes (optional)
1 lb kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, sauté the sausage over medium heat until browned. Depending on the sausage used, there may be a lot of fat rendered – pour off all but 1 tbsp, then add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan. Add onions and garlic and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. While the onions are cooking, use a wooden spoon to scrape up the fond (the tasty brown bits) on the bottom of the pan.
Add the sausage back in to the pot, along with the potatoes, bay leaves, thyme (give the thyme a good rub between your fingers to help release the oils), chicken stock and water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the potatoes are very tender, about 25-30 minutes.
Optional step: Use the back of a wooden spoon to “smush” some of the potatoes. This will help give the soup a thicker consistency.
Add the kale and stir until it all wilts into the soup. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until the kale is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.