I'm sorry for the lack of posts lately. We were very fortunate that Hurricane Sandy only caused us to lose power for a few days. As I'm sure you know, many people are still without power, lost their homes or businesses. It was a catastrophic storm for this area, especially my beloved Jersey Shore, a place we've taken Baby Girl many times in her short life.
I've still been cooking, but I've mostly been making meals I've already blogged about. And now there's a new wrinkle in my blogging - the end of daylight savings time. It gets dark around 5pm now and at that point I haven't even started dinner. I'll likely be photographing leftovers the next day until spring returns.
This Italian Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup is from my dear friend Melissa. As I've mentioned before, she only blogs about truly fantastic meals so I knew this soup would be a hit. This was actually my first time buying or cooking kale and I was surprised that we liked it. Kale is incredibly good for you, so that's an added bonus.
My sausage didn't have fennel but Melissa told me to just add dried oregano, which brightened up the flavor immensely. I also added some salt, which she left out of the original ingredient list but which I found necessary to bring out the fullness of the soup.
Italian Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup
As seen on Alosha's Kitchen
4 thick slices applewood smoked bacon, chopped
1 pound bulk Italian sausage (with fennel)
1 teaspoon dried oregano (if sausage doesn't have fennel)
1 large sweet onion, diced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup half and half
1 cup water
1 bunch lacinato kale, chopped
Fresh ground black pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes
Heat large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon and fry until most of the fat is rendered and the pork is somewhat crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels and pour off most of the fat from the pot, leaving the bottom just coated. Add the bacon back to the pot along with the Italian sausage. Cook the sausage for 4 or 5 minutes, breaking it into chunks with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink.
Add the onions and garlic and continue to cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir to combine. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes (test one with a fork). Pour in half and half and water and stir to heat through. Toss in the kale and stir until slightly wilted.
Season with fresh ground black pepper and salt, adding crushed red pepper flakes, as desired.