I don't know what temperatures you are experiencing lately, but here in Minneapolis it's been all over the place! Fall, however, is coming, and in fact is here according to the calendar at least. As much as I love the heat of summer, I am IN love with the cool temps of the autumn season, and inevitably I get the urge to cook up some savory soup.
Today I had some fun with a Creamy Winter Vegetable Soup that I saw online. And, don't ya think that when it comes to soup, adaptation is where it's at? So adapt away I did, and created a pure vegetarian creamy soup with all those warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and curry. I guarantee we'll be nomming on it for the next few days.
This got me thinking about how NICE, utterly FANTASTIC it is to have yummy soup around the holidays. It's easy, it's quick, and a nice hot bowl can get you all warmed up for dinner, no? So, let's make some Christmas soup.
For today's delectable recipe, I turned to one of my favorite chefs on the food network, Alton Brown. He tells this cute story of how he's been making this soup ever since he was allowed in the kitchen, and it's become one of those great traditions in his family. I loved how the recipe sounded.....yes, it's easy (we've clearly established that's what I do best), but so savory and salty and filling too. I do love to create gourmet-ish soups during wintertime, but this one is not fussy like that at all. I did adapt it a little, sorry Alton, I couldn't help myself.
So, when you need to be warmed to the bone, try this:
- 1# kielbasa, sliced 1/4-inch thick on bias
- Olive oil, as needed
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1# red kidney beans, soaked at least 4 hours and up to overnight
- 2 quarts chicken (or vegetable) broth
- 1# red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 handfuls of kale
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Sort your kidney beans the night before (or morning of), and soak for at least 4 hours.
- Heat up the oil in a large soup pot over med-low heat, and brown the kielbasa for about 15 minutes, turning frequently.
- Remove the kielbasa, and add the garlic to the rendered fat in the pot, stirring so it doesn't burn.
- Drain the beans and add them to the pot along with the chicken broth (use vegetable broth for a delish vegetarian option).
- Cover and cook for about 45 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and cover again for 15 more minutes.
Remove the ribs from the kale and tear into bite size pieces, then add it to the pot.
Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or just until the kale is tender (you don't want it mushy).
Finish it off by adding the red wine vinegar, and pepper to taste.
- The kielbasa is added after the soup is plated which makes it super easy to accommodate your vegetarian friends too!
And, there you have it.....Christmas Soup. Maybe it will become your traditional Christmas Eve meal, too.