Verdict: Win

Finally! It's spring break, and I have (theoretically) all the time in the world to cook up a storm. Unfortunately, the kitchen I'm visiting has a sad collection of spices and cooking utensils (meaning all I have are salt, pepper, a medium-sized pot, a large skillet, and a baking pan). They get the job done, but I miss my spices and gadgets from home...

I've been eying the several sausage and kale soup recipes that have popped up on my Google Reader for the past few months. I didn't have a recipe on hand, so I winged it...with pretty good results, I think! I'm always hesitant to share recipes that I threw together without consulting a recipe. I never know if I'm committing a grave cooking faux pas...but this was too delicious not to post. The soup came together quickly and doesn't require much work. The best part is that I didn't need to season anything - the hot Italian sausage took care of it all. If spicy isn't your thing, mild or sweet Italian sausage could work well as a substitute.

Spicy Sausage and Kale Soup by me
Yield: 4-6 servings

32 oz carton low sodium chicken broth (or try homemade!)
4 cups water
Leaves of about 6-8 stalks of kale, torn into bite sized pieces
1 or 2 large russet potatoes, diced into a little larger than 1/2 inch chunks
1 package (~18 oz) hot Italian sausage, sliced into about 3/4 inch pieces (I was too lazy to remove the casing...)
1 large sweet onion, peeled and sliced

Pour chicken broth and water into a large pot, then add kale and diced potatoes. Bring broth up to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 25 minutes (until kale and potatoes are tender). While the broth is simmering, cook the sausage in large fry pan or skillet until the sausage is no longer pink (you may do this in batches if you have a small pan). Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside. With the residual fat from the sausage in the pan, saute the onions until soft. Once the kale and potatoes are cooked to tender, add the sausage and onions to the soup (throw in any leftover sausage fat too if you want. Fat = flavor). Season or dilute with water (if too spicy) to taste. Serve warm.


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