Monday, September 28, 2009

Soup in Seven

I enjoy a complicated food challenge. The longer, more involved the recipe, the more likely I will try it. A few years back, I made cassoulet for Christmas. It required nearly a week of prep cooking (i.e., making sausages from scratch). I have made Turducken a couple of times, which requires a similar amount of sustained effort.

But there is much to be said for simple preparations.

Sunday lunch was a reprisal of radish sandwiches. I realize we were aiming for new uses of repeat OPO veggies, but this just sounded perfect. Again, the method is simple: thinly sliced radishes and their leaves on good bread slathered with butter and a sprinkling of salt. What bread did you use, you might be asking? My resilient whole grain friend, of course!

The presence of good bread makes soup an obvious choice for your next meal. My friend, Dina, sent me a recipe for Portugese Sausage and Kale Soup by John Mitzewich. He has a video cooking blog and a number of other web-outlets for his work. But you're reading my blog, so I feel obliged to tell you how I approached the soup. After watching his preparation once, I headed to Publix and found...why, yes, they do carry linguisa sausage in the lunch meat case. (As a lover of all sausage-styles, I was surprised to be unfamiliar with this variety.)

The Method

  1. Slice the sausage into 1/4" thick rounds (on a bias, if you wish to be fancy)
  2. Chop two small onions
  3. Saute the sausage and onions in some olive oil
  4. Season with garlic and cayenne pepper to taste
  5. Add 1 quart of good chicken broth (I used defrosted homemade stock)
  6. Bring this to a boil, lower to a simmer
  7. Add two roughly chopped russet potatoes
  8. Simmer until the potatoes are tender (or until you realize that your son mistakenly turned off the stove, and the potatoes have been poaching not simmering)
  9. Turn up the heat, and add 8 C. roughly chopped greens (I used OPO kale and arugula. Who knew arugula was this versitile?)
  10. Simmer the greens in the soup until they are tender (I let it go about an hour while we played Pictionary.)
  11. Serve with good bread.
The Result
Wow. Another keeper. This is a seven (or so) ingredient, single pot dish. Seven is a favorite number, and this is now a favorite dish. 

The linguisa is a mild sausage, as are the greens. The potatoes give extra body to the broth. And the broth itself is the keystone ingredient. (All the more reason to make your own.) Dina, this is a perfect excuse to try kale. 

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Kudya Bwino Bwino (Eating Well) © 2009