Because I am, in all likelihood, about seven years old on the inside but old enough on the outside to know that this might never change, I’m just going to admit from the start that the concept of sausage soup makes me giggle. It also sounds kind of gross, don’t you think? Sausage soup.Hee hee. In fact, when it appeared a few weeks ago as Epicurious’ Recipe of the Day, I sent the link to my husband who, also being seven or maybe seven and a half on the inside, would totally get a kick out of it. But then–and I hope that this doesn’t mean that he is growing up on me, because that just will not do–he actually said that it sounded good, and that we should make it for dinner.
Well his taste buds–which cry for only tomatoes, salt, cured meats and chocolate–haven’t led us astray in the past, have they? Now that the weather has finally plodded into something resembling fall, soup season is officially on and what way to ease ourselves into it but with something hovering in the delicious middle-ground between broth and stew.
This middle ground is important, mind you, if you are the kind of person who likes your soups hit up with an immersion blender right before serving and your significant other likes them chunkier. This soup is a bit of both and to top it all off, it’s really easy to make. It’s exactly the kind of recipe you can choose to make late in the afternoon and still eat for dinner. It’s hearty enough to count as a one-pot meal, and instead of relying on umpteen spices for flavor, it coaxes them out of the sausage instead. I am impressed by its efficiency, and I suspect you will be too.
And now, back to hiding under two comforters and hoping the nice landlords will turn on our heat. Apartment living, I am so over you today!
Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup
Bon Appetit, October 2007
We ended up using spicy chorizo (yee-ouch!) but it played off the sweet potatoes perfectly, saving me from death by cayenne.
Gourmet note: This hearty soup gets rich flavor from linguica, a delicious pork sausage from Portugal seasoned with garlic, paprika, and other spices.
Makes 8 servings
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 10- to 11-ounce fully cooked smoked Portuguese linguica sausage or chorizo sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (Spanish chorizo can be substituted)
2 medium onions, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams; about 2 large), peeled, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 pound white-skinned potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
6 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 9-ounce bag fresh spinach
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook until brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to paper towels to drain. (I poured off some of the oil in the pot at this point, but the original recipe doesn’t think this is needed.) Add onions and garlic to pot and cook until translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add all potatoes and cook until beginning to soften, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Add broth; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Using potato masher, mash some of potatoes in pot. Add browned sausage to soup. Stir in spinach and simmer just until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and serve.
Other options to consider: Kielbasa (suggested by commenter Wendy) instead of chorizo/linguica, adding a can or two of drained white beans or using more spinach. I love spinach wilted in soups and could have used even more.