Sometimes we just crave soup, even if it’s in the dead heat of the summer. P.S. Today it was over 100 degrees AGAIN and super dry AGAIN!! But moving along, Zach and I haven’t been feeling 100%, so tonight we decided to keep dinner easy, clean, and nourishing. This soup turned out just that way. We combined a medley of broth, sausage, potatoes, onions, and many other veggies into a large stock pot and let simmer all evening. Not only did it smell delicious, but it tasted just as delicious as it smelled! It was the perfect remedy for a not so great-feeling tummy, and it filled the house with a comforting aroma!
We like to think of this soup as an Italian Wedding Soup on steroids. The addition of heavy cream, pancetta, leeks, and potatoes; and the substitution of kale for spinach elevates this Italian Wedding Soup to something new, exciting, and fragrant. The addition of red pepper flakes creates a slight kick that elevates the flavors of this soup even further.
If you haven’t noticed, Zach and I are pretty “obsessed” with Odells Brewing Company right now. Zach found their Imperial Extra Pale Ale Pond Hopper sitting all by it’s lonesome self on the shelf. Of course, we had to try it, since we have to try anything and everything Odell’s. This pairing ended up being just dumb luck. We thought a pale ale would be subtle enough for this soup, so we were unsure about using an Extra Pale Ale. It wasn’t bitter, and the subtleness really brought out the red pepper flake in this dish. In this soup, the red pepper flake almost gets lost with all of the other flavors. With hints of kick here and there, we felt that this dish almost NEEDED the pairing with Pond Hopper. This beer elevated the flavors of this dish so dramatically, that I think we will only ever drink extra pale ales with lighter soup!
Enjoy this recipe when you aren’t feeling so hot, or if you just want a delicious light soup!
You can find a recipe for easy and yummy Garlic-Parmesan Croutons here.
- 3/4 lb mild italian sausage
- 1/4 lb pancetta, sliced thick and cubed
- the white and light green part from 1 small leek, cut in half and chopped
- 1 medium-sized sweet onion, chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 4 ounces sliced white button mushrooms
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 3 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 in cubes
- 1 cup fresh kale, loosely chopped and removed from stem
- 3 cups water
- 4 to 5 cups chicken stock or broth
- salt and pepper
- 1 or 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup crumbled aged white cheddar
- Start by heating a medium to large stock pot over medium to medium-high heat.
- Once the pot is nice and hot, add the sausage (removed from it’s casing, if it is cased) and pancetta. Let cook until brown and cooked all the way through. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside because you will be adding it later. Meanwhile, add the onion, mushrooms, shallot, leeks, and salt and pepper to the stock pot. You want the brown bits from the sausage to intermingle with the veggies. Cook until the veggies are tender and the mushrooms begin to brown. Next, you will add the white wine to deglaze the pan and then add the garlic, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes.
- Now, it’s time for the “let’s add everything to the pot step!” Add the potatoes, kale, already cooked sausage and pancetta, water, chicken broth or stock, and a dash more salt and pepper. Bring the pot to a boil, and then simmer, covered for about 30 to 45 minutes. Next, you will stir in the heavy cream, and let simmer for about 5 more minutes. Remove the bay leaves, and serve. Crumble aged white cheddar on top. Garnish with a basil leaf or two and serve with Garlic-Parmesan Croutons! *Because who eats soup without croutons =)