I was determined to make this soup after trying the very first delicious spoonful from our Co-Op a few months back. Hearty Kale and Kielbasa Soup, brainchild of Linda Glenn, was the winning recipe of the “Souperbowl Challenge”: a friendly competition in which locals submit recipes to be made and judged by cooking classes. In celebration, the winning soup was served at the Co-Op’s hot bar for a week; during which time yours truly sampled a taste and quickly bought a bowl! With big chunks of kale and kielbasa, subtly spicy undertones, and softened beans and squash holding it all together, this is the perfect cold weather soup. You get your vitamins, protein, and tummy-warmer in a single cup.
Hearty Kale and Kielbasa Soup (from Linda Glenn via the Onion River Co-Op)
* Note: I’d like to take a moment to mention that one of the attributes the Souperbowl contestants were judged on was their use of local ingredients. Please, if at all possible, support your area’s agricultural community and buy locally. Your taste buds will thank you! 🙂
1 bunch of fresh kale
1 large yellow onion
3 Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
1 medium squash (or 2 sweet potatoes), peeled and cubed
8 C chicken broth
¼ C EVOO
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 15 oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 lb. kielbasa sausage, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped (you may want gloves)
2 T paprika
salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, saute the onion and kielbasa in EVOO. When the onion is translucent and fragrant, add the garlic but do not let it brown (the sausage doesn’t have to be cooked through yet).
- Add the squash/sweet potato and diced hot pepper and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Season with the paprika and add the broth and bay leaf. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- While waiting, prepare the kale by rinsing it thoroughly and tearing the leafy portions from the thick ribs or stems. Discard the stems and tear the rest into bite-sized pieces.
- Add the potatoes and kale to the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes before adding the beans. Heat for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste.
makes about 6 quarts of soup! great for a dinner party or freezing for later.
This recipe was a blast to make. True, it does require a large amount of ingredients and quite a bit of chopping, but you soon get to the fun part of just tossing things into a pot and letting the magic happen on its own. At this point, you can sit back and breathe in mouth-watering smells...mmm…
I think my boyfriend may not have such a fond association with this soup, as he was the one seeding the peppers. I deliberately bought the mildest hot peppers I could find (not having much experience with such things, I was a bit intimidated, haha), but the juices were still devious in the way they clung to his skin after a quick wash. “I’ll be back in a sec!” he said, as he casually finished rinsing his hands and walked toward the restroom. A few minutes later he returned to offer assistance, but didn’t stay very long. I remember a growing look of alarm on his face as he walked – this time much more quickly – back to the restroom. He didn’t return for quite some time.
Needless to say, I highly recommend using gloves when cutting and seeding hot peppers of any kind. If you do brave the burn bare-handed (hah! how’dya like that alliteration?), make sure to wash thoroughly with plenty of soap and warm water; especially before touching anything…um…shall we say… sensitive. 😉
Overall Enjoyment: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥