As I commented on Lisa's post below, the cool, crisp days of autumn move me to cook. Okay, okay, before someone points out to me that the official start of autumn is still a week away, let me go on record as saying I know it's not here yet, but it feels like it is and that's the only excuse I need.
Last weekend I found our fridge/pantry loaded with kale, sweet link sausage, garlic, tender young leeks, fresh potatoes and free range chicken stock. If you've never had free range chicken, I have to say - "what ever are you waiting for?" Once you discover what chicken is really supposed to taste like, you will be hard pressed to buy chicken from your local grocer, but I digress.
I decided these ingredients were begging (yes, the food in our household often speaks to me) to be combined into a soup for the soul that would be greater than the sum of it's parts. Who was I to begrudge them their final wish? And so I began....
I tossed a few cloves (3-4) of chopped garlic, 4 tender, young leeks (again, chopped) and sliced sausage (casing removed) into a stock pot. In the meantime, I quickly chopped a few potatoes (probably 1 1/2 cups worth) into bite-size chunks and tossed them into the pot. The sausage (from pastured pork raised at Holiday Brook Farm alongside the veggies in this soup) was pretty lean so I actually had to add a bit of butter to the mixture to get the potatoes to brown. Then I added a healthy dose of kale (probably 3-4 cups loosely packed) torn into bite-sized pieces with stems removed, along with a cup or so of chicken stock. Once the kale began to wilt, I added another 3 cups or so of chicken stock. I let this simmer for a while...maybe 30 minutes or so, then tossed in a can of white beans. I really debated on whether to do that, since everything else was sourced locally, but it just needed the beans.
This honestly was one of THE best soups I've ever made. Much of that was, I'm sure, due to fabulous, fresh ingredients. But I'm also going to take a little credit for the recipe. The photo below doesn't even begin to do it justice, but here it is. This one's for you, Meg!
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