As a triple cold and flu season carries on, we continue to find new ways to combat it while carrying on with everyday life. Food is the best medicine, as the old Chinese proverb goes. I wholeheartedly agree. If sugar and flour feeds bad bacteria and viruses, this soup strengthens the immune system to ward the yuckies off.
My family does not enjoy mushrooms, but since they are such a strong immune booster, I slip them in this soup and blend them all up. Then no one has to deal with the nose-crinkling mushroom texture. However... If you enjoy chunky soups and thinly-sliced mushrooms like I do, forgo the immersion blender and enjoy! I usually save about a third of it in a big bowl before running it through with a blender to make it palatable for my family. Chunky or smooth, this soup hits the spot and strengthens our bodies.
Sausage Kale Soup
Prep time: 20 min; cook time: 20 min; serves 8-10 (freezes well)
- 1 pound uncooked sausage of choice (I use Trader Joe's sweet Italian chicken sausage)
- 4 potatoes (peeled if using hard skinned potatoes like russet)
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 1 bunch kale
- 8 ounces crimini mushrooms
- 1 onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche
- pepper to taste
- Remove sausage from castings (this is optional. It's a personal choice I make because I just don't like them. To avoid castings altogether, buy sausage not in the form of links). Place sausage in soup pot and brown over medium heat, crumbling the meat with a spatula while it browns.
- As the sausage browns, slice potatoes in bite-sized pieces if you plan to make a chunky soup. If you plan to blend it, you can just cut them into fourths. De-vein kale and cut or rip it into bite-sized pieces. Rinse and slice mushrooms. Dice onions and garlic (I use the food processor to slice the mushrooms and dice the onion and garlic together. It gets these tasks done in seconds.)
- Once the sausage is cooked, pour chicken stock over it and add potatoes, mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Cook, covered, over medium/high heat for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
- Remove from heat and add kale, salt, creme fraiche, and pepper. If the soup is too cool, return the soup pot to heat source and simmer until hot enough.
- Serve immediately for a chunky soup or run it through with an immersion blender if you prefer a pureed soup.