I realize, typing this, that I’m hitting you with two soup/stew recipes in a row. Oops! Well, ’tis the season, right? The combination of cool nights and piles of gorgeous harvest apparently makes me want to stew everything in sight. (In fact, I sort of do that, in batches as I go—a way of giving my future, hungry self precious little gifts to heat up on the craziest of days.)
This soup is a terrific weeknight soup, with not too many ingredients, because smoky, garlicky kielbasa sausage imparts a ton of flavor fast, without a lot of chopping and messing around. The soup is traditionally made with just kale and potatoes, but I add chickpeas because seriously, sausage and chickpeas are one of the world’s best flavor/texture combinations. If for some reason you dislike chickpeas but are a fan of white beans–great! Sausage and white beans are another of the world’s best flavor/texture combinations. You could even skip the beans. Or add other vegetables to the mix. That’s why soup is magical: it’s all good.
I hope you’re finding time to spend outside while Minnesota shines its sparkly, shiny best. When you come in, I have a soup recipe that will hit the spot…
Smoky Sausage Soup with Kale and Chickpeas
Adapted from a recipe in The Best Recipe Soups and Stews, by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling over individual bowls
1 large onion, chopped medium
8 oz. smoked kielbasa sausage, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
6 c. chicken broth
1 lb. (about 4 medium) red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 c. cooked chickpeas (if using canned, rinse and drain)
1 tsp. dried oregano
6 oz. kale, stems removed and leaves cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips (about 4 1/2 packed cups)
ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and continue sauteeing, until onion is very soft and sausage is browned spots, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and and oregano and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the stock, potatoes, chickpeas, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Increase the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and using a spoon, smash some of the potatoes against the side of the pan and stir back into the broth to thicken the soup slightly.
Stir in the kale and simmer until just tender, about 5 minutes. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, drizzling each portion with olive oil, if desired.