Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gingery Sweet Potato, Veg and Sausage Soup

I've been making soup once a week since before the holidays. Usually on Wednesday nights when I'm not running to the gym and have plenty of time to cook. I make enough to eat the leftovers on Thursday plus a lunch or two. This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the short, dark, wintery days.

I made plenty of soup when we lived in Fort Lauderdale, but now I'm enjoying it even more. I don't really think about cooking anything else on Wednesday nights--I just consider what kind of soup I want. I have a nice cache of new recipes bookmarked, and I have no problem repeating old favorites (like this one I'm making tomorrow!).

Last week's soup was inspired by this recipe from 101 Cookbooks. It's easy because you just put nearly everything in a pot and go. The original recipe, from the book Love Soup by Anna Thomas, is vegetarian, but I made some additions to turn it into a heartier main course. While I have plenty of veggie soups in my repertoire, I often like a little meat to help me feel satisfied. A can of cannellini beans and crumbled turkey sausage worked well with the sweet potatoes, greens and fresh ginger.

Since you don't start out by sauteeing carrots, celery, onions and spices to build flavor as in some soup recipes, I recommend using a good-tasting vegetable or chicken broth. The generous amount of ginger will give it a nice lift without coming off too strong. Have you been making more soup lately? If you have a current favorite recipe, feel free to leave links in the comments!

Gingery Sweet Potato, Veg and Sausage Soup
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

I used Jennie O fresh turkey sausage, but I think simple ground turkey breast would work just as well--it's also lower in sodium. You can mix up the types of greens you use (kale, Swiss chard, mustard, escarole, broccoli rabe) but I'd recommend at least 2 different ones for textural contrast. Heartier greens will need to simmer longer than delicate varieties.

Serves 5 to 6

1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced into half moons
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 fresh turkey sausage links, or 3/4 lb ground turkey breast
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups water
1 large sweet potato (about 14 oz), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
8 oz chopped collard greens
8 oz spinach leaves
1 (14 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook until very tender and golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. You want it to caramelize, so stir just occasionally and reduce the heat to low after about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Wipe out the skillet and turn heat to medium high. Coat with cooking spray and squeeze the sausage out of its casings into the pan (if using ground turkey, just add it to the pan and season with salt, pepper and spices of your choice--chile powder, cumin, paprika, etc.). Break up the meat with your spatula as it cooks. When turkey is cooked through, transfer to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess fat and blot with additional paper towel on top if using sausage. Set aside.

While the onions and sausage cook, get the soup going: Add the broth, water and ginger to a large saucepan or Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sweet potato, return to a simmer, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Add the collard greens, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, or until just tender. Add the spinach, cover and simmer 1 minute or until tender.

If necessary, you can partially cover the soup and let it rest off the heat until the other components are finished. When ready to serve, put the pot over medium-low heat to warm and stir in the beans, onion and sausage. If soup seems too thick, add an additional cup of water and bring to a simmer just to warm through. Taste for seasoning (you'll probably need some salt) and serve immediately.


Mark Scarbrough said...

Isn't the best part of living some place cold making winter-bashing, deep-pot comfort food like this? I don't like it that my toes freeze, but I sure love to eat a big bowl of fantastic, veggie-heavy soup like this on a chilly night.

Anonymous said...

This looks absolutely delicious! I am always on the look out for new soup recipes to try-there's simply nothing better than a bowl of warm, comforting soup dinner the cold winter nights! Will definitely be trying this soon :)

Kurdistan said...

looking delicious love to try it by my self