As I sit here, in the sunny 70-degree temperatures of Southern California, I do so with a heavy heart for those in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Having spent the first 18 years of my life living in the home of the polar vortex aka Chiberia, I can commiserate like no other.
In all of my commiserating, I thought it would be a lovely occasion to post this soup recipe. It rained in LA for the first time in a looong last weekend. It was the closest that it’s gotten to winter in this city (and probably the closest that it’ll get) so I seized the occasion to get cozy…Sweatpants? check! Williams hoodie? check! Netflix? Always on deck! but I was missing something yummy for my tummy. Out came the big pot….
This soup is a solid winter meal offering warmth, delicious flavor, and nutrition. It can be eaten alone or paired with a small salad for a light yet filling meal. For a heartier version, add some quinoa or other healthy grain to thicken it up a bit.
Adapted from this recipe
- 1/2 lb ground Sicilian chicken sausage (or sausage of your choosing) Ground chicken sausage can be hard to find so feel free to buy uncooked chicken sausage and simply remove the casing. I used two cased chicken sausages.
- 1-2 T cooking oil of your choice
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper plus more to taste
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (adjust this amount depending on desired spiciness. Also, if you’re sausage aren’t spicy and you want to jazz it up, add more)
- A bunch of kale (like a big handful)
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 2 -3 sweet potatoes depending on size (I used 2 medium ones), chopping into small cubes
- 4 cups of low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1. Remove chicken sausage from casing (if necessary) and cook in a large pot on medium-high heat for about 3-5 minutes until cooked. Use wooden spoon or spatula to break into pieces while cooking. The sausage will stick to the bottom of the pot a bit but that’s okay. (If you’re worried about this, you can add oil to the pot before adding the sausage but you will miss out on some flavor)
2. Once chicken is cooked, remove from pot, place in a bowl, and put to the side.
3. Lower heat to medium, add coconut oil (or preferred cooking oil) in pan and add chopped onion and garlic. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent. While cooking, use a wooden spoon to scrap the bits of chicken sausage from the bottom of the pan and stir in with the onions and garlic.
4. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and continue to saute onions until caramelized.
5. Once onions are caramelized, add kale and season with a dash of nutmeg (just enough to bring out the flavor but not to actually taste).
6. Cook kale for about 3 minutes until wilted and then add sweet potatoes and cooked chicken sausage to the pot.
7. Add chicken or veggie broth and bring to a boil.
8. Lower heat and allow to simmer until potatoes have softened to your liking (I let mine simmer for about 25 minutes). Taste for flavor and add seasoning as you see fit.
Serve hot (obvs) with a side salad or on top of a healthy grain such as qinoa or brown rice for a heartier version.