I've been incredibly absorbed by food lately. Even the movies I loved most in 2014, such as Chef and The 100-foot Journey (both which I can't recommend highly enough), revolve around cooking and following your passion. That being said, I want to share some great recipes I've concocted in my own kitchen. Albeit small, this is a wonderful place where I create big flavors and exciting experiments.
Some turn out horribly, like the hot wings that could have easily sent my husband into cardiac arrest. But others, like this soup and my zucchini quinoa cakes (recipe to be shared soon, I promise), are irresistible. Stephen teases that I never make the same thing for dinner twice. This warming bowl of goodness, with a creamy potato base and a slight kick from the spicy sausage, have proven him wrong.
There are a few steps to this soup, but it's well worth the time. In fact, I almost think it's better made a day ahead of time, which gives the flavors a chance to marry overnight.
- Extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil)
- 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced (or 1/2 a large onion)
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme (about 2-3 inches each)
- Himalayan pink sea salt
- 3 cups diced gold potatoes
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 Tbsp coconut milk (or heavy cream)
- 5 ounces kale (1/2 of a bag from the store)
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage (casing removed)
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
Set the oven on 275 degrees. Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the large stems from the kale and cut into small pieces (1/4-1/2 inch in size). Toss in a large bowl with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, salt, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Massage the kale with your hands until the oil is worked into all of the leaves (1-2 minutes). Place on the baking sheet and bake until crisp (about 12-18 minutes), checking halfway through to prevent burning.
Place a large pot of water on high heat, and drop in the diced gold potatoes. Cook until tender. Drain remaining water when complete, and set aside.
While potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add the shallots, thyme, season with salt, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are tender (about 5 minutes). Place the shallots in a blender, removing thyme spring. (Note: I did add a few thyme leaves to the blender, although I removed the large twiggy portion from the blender).
Add another Tbsp oil to the pan and cook the sausage until browned (3-5 minutes). Remove from heat, drain excess fat and set aside.
Add 1 1/2 cups of the cooked potatoes to the blender with the shallots. Add 4 cups vegetable broth and your milk/cream. Blend until smooth. Add salt and white pepper to taste (If you want the added kick, you might add another small pinch of crushed red pepper flakes here, too).
Return the potato puree to the large pot. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups cooked potatoes, kale, and sausage. Cook until heated through.
Serve immediately, or enjoy the following days.