All of a sudden winter has hit us here in Vancouver. It’s been beautifully sunny and absolutely chilly and we are loving it! We’ve spent hours outside each day soaking up the sunshine and everyone’s mood has been lifted.
The fresh cold air makes me crave hot soup, and so that plus the fact that kale was on sale at our local market had me coming up with this for dinner last night. This made quite a large pot, probably enough for about 6 bowls.
-6 slices of nitrate free, sugar free bacon
-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
-1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped
-2 celery stalks, chopped
-4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped (I used red potatoes but any kind will do)
-3 potatoes, diced into bite size pieces (I prefer to leave the peel on for this part)
-6 sausage links, Italian flavoured or chorizo (I did a mix)
-2 large red bell peppers, diced
-2 bunches of kale, stems removed and roughly torn or chopped
-fresh chives, chopped
-4 cups chicken broth
-1 cup water
-salt and pepper to taste
1) Fry the bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat. (Put the bacon in your cold soup pot and then turn on the heat to medium to get the most fat rendered out of your bacon – thanks Cherie for that tip!)
2) Once the bacon is cooked, remove it and set it to the side. Remove all but 1-2 tbsp of the bacon fat. (Save that removed bacon fat in a jar for another day…it’s gold.)
3) Fry your garlic, leek and celery in the pot with the 1-2 tbsp bacon fat until it smells wonderful, about 2-4 minutes.
4) Add in your 4 peeled and chopped potatoes and fry for another few minutes.
5) Pour in your chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 or so minutes, until potatoes are soft.
6) While your potatoes are cooking, heat a large pan over medium heat. Remove the sausage casing and crumble the meat into the pan. Cook until there is no longer any pink.
7) When the potatoes are soft, puree the whole pot of broth, potatoes, garlic, leeks and celery. Use a hand held immersion blender or remove the mixture and blend it in a Vitamix and then return it to the pot.
8) Add the rest of the potatoes and the cooked sausage. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes or until the diced potatoes begin to soften.
9) Add your chopped kale and diced red pepper and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
10) Ladle the soup into bowls and serve topped with chives and bacon.