Kale and Sausage Stew

Kale may no longer be as popular as it once was having been degraded from its former trend food status by the likes of quinoa and fake meat, yet it is still a winter food staple. This kale and sausage soup is easy to make, requires only one pot and is delicious. You can’t even tell that you are eating kale. This was made with Kabanos sausage, but you can replace it with any spicy sausage you like. You can even make it vegan by using a vegan sausage although the method changes slightly.

There we are already two weeks into January and if some people are to be trusted we are in prime kale season. They could have fooled me as I have only seen fresh kale in a grocery store once this winter and that was right before Christmas. I like kale but cabbage is not really what I consider to be the most festive of foods. Luckily it kept relatively well in the fridge (supposedly in a paper bag but don’t quote me on that) and I made it a few days later. Technically you don’t need fresh kale to make this soup, frozen works just as well. Maybe steer clear of the chopped variety although that is up to personal taste. The bigger pieces of kale give the dish a heartier texture instead of turning it into green mush. I’ve tried both because I mistakenly bought the chopped kale twice already. What is it with Germans and chopping the living hell out of kale and spinach? I’ve seen them on the street, most of them have teeth. Anyway, if you like a kale and sausage soup that is delicious and requires actual chewing, then this is the recipe for you. It is super simple to make a huge batch that reheats and freezes well, making it a great dish for this season. If you can get your hands of fresh or not chopped frozen kale that is, for I will only ever get mine on green mush. I still have a huge packet in the freezer.

Kale and Sausage Soup

Depending on portion size and whether you eat it with bread this recipe serves 4-6 people. Leftovers can be frozen and reheated well or simply half the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • 300 gr spiced sausage of choice (alternative: vegan sausage*)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (optional)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbl tomato paste
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 750 gr fresh kale** (450 gr frozen kale)
  • 1 kg potatoes, cubed
  • 1 l vegetable stock
  • salt
  • pepper
  • liqiud seasoning sauce (optional)
  • red wine vinegar

Instructions:
1. When using fresh kale, strip the kale from the stalk and wash it in cold water. Drain excess water and rip it into mouth-size pieces. Otherwise skip to number two.
2. Cut your sausage of choice into slices and let one tablespoon of olive oil come to high heat in a large pot. Brown the sausage until golden (follow directions under * when using vegan sausage).
3. Add the onions and bell peppers and sauté them until the onions are translucent.
4. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add the paprika and tomato paste and roast them for a minute.
5. Add the peeled and cut potatoes (larger pieces need to cook longer) and cover them with room temperature vegetable stock. Season the vegetable stock to taste with additional salt, pepper and liquid seasoning sauce. Let everything come to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are almost completely cooked.
6. Add the kale to pot and cook it until the fresh kale is wilted and tender and the frozen kale has defrosted and everything is hot.
7. Once the potatoes are fully cooked and the kale is tender, season the soup to taste with salt, pepper, liquid seasoning sauce and a shot of vinegar right before serving.

*When using vegan sausage, brown the sausage before removing it from the pot. Add the sausage back to the soup shortly before serving, therefore keeping it from completely falling apart in the soup while cooking.
** Fresh kale will look like a ridiculous amount but once it wilts, there will be just enough left.

There you have a very simple and tasty recipe for kale and sausage soup that is perfect for the cold weather. It is warm and comforting, although it may not be the prettiest of dishes. At least it is not green mush, right? I certainly see a bowl or two of that in my future unless I want to drink kale smoothies until next September. Maybe it is just me but fresh kale overpowers just any other flavor, even though you’d think it would be sweeter after the frost in the freezer. Kale is such a great source of vitamin C, A, B6 and calcium, so I really wish options to get it (especially fresh) were not as limited. Do you have any recommendations what to do with that horribly chopped kale that is taking up prime real estate in my freezer that could (should) be occupied be pizza? I would be grateful for any recommendation that is not suck it up and eat the green mush. Have a wonderful day!

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