I love soup. I love soup like I love sweaters…and throws…and wool socks. I mainly love soup because they require little effort and you get a huge piping hot bowl of comfort. This soup is loaded with sweet potatoes and kale, which are both great fall/winter veggies. It should be no surprise at this point of my infatuation with kale. So I shall skip forward to my utter love for the amazing sweet potato.
I love roasting sweet potatoes, making them into sweet potato fries, throwing them into chili, or dumping them into soups and stews. So I was über pumped when I came home from my family’s farm with a boat-load of home-grown sweet potatoes!
Sweet potatoes are planted in the summer and harvested in late October before the first frost. The variety that my dad planted are amazingly sweet with red skin and bright orange flesh. Sweet potatoes are naturally rich in antioxidants, and are great sources of both Vitamin A and Vitamin C. They pack some powerful nutrients, dietary fiber, and are a great source of healthy carbs for athletes. So stock up on these in-season veggies. Store them in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place (not the fridge). They should keep for at least a month or two. Yay for food hoarding!
This is one of those soups that can be adapted from whatever you have on hand. I used italian sausage, sweet potatoes, and kale. If you don’t have sausage, try chicken…no sweet potatoes, try butternut squash or red skinned potatoes…no kale (weirdo), try spinach. You can even add tomatoes or mushrooms.
The sausage that I had on hand was a spicy italian sausage from my CSA. If you do not have access to local sausage and you are purchasing sausage from the store, read the ingredients on the package. Some types of sausage contain preservatives, nitrates, and wheat-based fillers. So just be aware of what you are buying. If you can not find a gluten-free or organic brand of sausage where you live/shop, then substitute shredded chicken (or a can of white beans for vegetarian version).
Sausage, Kale, and Sweet Potato Soup (adapted from Bon Appetit)
- 1 lb ground sausage (gluten-free and nitrate free)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large sweet potatoes, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves cut into 1-inch strips
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Heat large heavy pot or dutch oven or medium heat. Add sausage and cook until brown, breaking into pieces (about 5 to 10 minutes). Transfer cooked sausage to a bowl lined with paper towels to drain.
- Add onions and garlic to pot and cook in sausage drippings until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir often.
- Add potatoes and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften.
- Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes (stirring occasionally), until potatoes are soft when stabbed with a fork. Using a potato masher, mash some of the potatoes in the pot. Add cooked sausage back into soup. Stir in kale (or spinach) and simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes, until greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.