For the longest time ‘soup for dinner’ was code for either cream of mushroom or chicken noodle. I like both of these soups but not surprisingly, I never really thought of myself as much of a soup aficionado.
Until I started experimenting with my own soup recipes, that is.
The first few times were okay but then I started to get a feel for what goes together and what combinations my family and I prefer most. I feel like I’ve stumbled upon some secret truth of life because you can almost never go wrong by adding beans, onions, carrots, celery and a handful of kale to any broth and something tasty like chicken or sausage. Yum, soup perfection!
Even my very picky, very peanut-butter-sandwich-centric children were eating my soups. Success!
Now that fall is here, I find myself making soups more often again. Especially on busy running nights, I can have soup on hand and it’s easy for everyone to warm up if they eat earlier or later than me. I keep going back to my most favourite sausage and kale soup and since I want to start sharing more recipes, I decided to take a few pics along the way…
One of the most useful tips I’ve learned in my soup experimentation is that all great soups seem to start with onions, carrots and celery (in french cooking this is called a mirepoix, thanks Wikipedia!). And part of the reason I wanted to make soup tonight is because I got some really cool heirloom carrots and leeks at our local farmers market yesterday so I started with those…
I started by chopping these all up and sautéing them in my pot with some olive oil. I then added two cartons of chicken stock because I wanted this batch of soup to be big enough to have lots of left overs. I love how easy this type of soup freezes. Yum, leftovers.
While I let the stock and veggies boil for a few minutes, I chopped up my already cooked sausage. You can use any kind of sausage but I’m actually a big fan of the mild italian sausage from Costco so I cooked a few of those up for this soup. I also added in the beans and spices. Just enough salt, pepper, sage and garlic powder to give it a bit of flavour.
I like to save the kale and add it just about 10 mins before I’m going to serve the soup. In my head I imagine that this keeps it from getting broth-logged and soggy but even after a few days, kale is still pretty springy which is what makes it so great for soups.
I have to say that this batch turned out maybe the best of all. The great thing about a soup like this is that it’s the same basic recipe but depending on what extra ingredients you have around, it’s always a little bit different each time. I love that you can tailor this soup to suit your mood or availability of groceries but it’s always delicious.
So there you have it, my favourite soup du jour. There’s just something about a warm, yummy soup on a cold rainy day, isn’t there? I hope you’ll want to try this recipe too so I’ve included the basics in a recipe card below. I’m also linking up with Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday today so be sure to check out what everyone else is eating these days.
Now here’s that recipe, enjoy!
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 long leek, halved and chopped
- 2 ribs of celery, chopped
- 3 heirloom carrots, chopped
- 2 tetra paks of chicken stock
- 1 can of garbanzo beans
- 2 large handfuls or chopped kale
- Sausage, about 3 large links, already cooked and sliced
- Salt & pepper
- Garlic powder
- Olive oil, for sautéing
- Heat a generous splash of olive oil in your soup pot on medium. Chop the onion, carrots, celery and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add both cartons of chicken stock and bring to a boil for a few minutes.
- Reduce heat to a simmer then drain/rinse the beans and add to the pot. Add chopped sausage, salt & pepper and spices to taste (approx. 1/2 tsp of each sage and garlic powder).
- Let the soup simmer for at least 15 minutes but with soup it seems that letting it simmer for longer is always better. About 10 mins before serving, add the chopped kale.
- Any kind of bean can be used but we prefer white beans like garbanzo or white kidney beans.
- Feel free to change the yield by adjusting the amount of stock and vegetables.