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  • Spicy Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup
  • Spicy Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup

Spicy Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup

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Posted on October 24, 2014
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Soup weather. It’s happening to me this week. And not in a good way. The rain has been wicked. And the wind. Oh my gosh. My dog and I were out the other morning and I was actually laughing (cackling?) to myself over how ridiculous the whole situation was. Picture this: I’m soaking wet, standing at a angle because the wind so strong that I had to lean into, wearing sunglasses (yes, always) and a bright pink rain jacket, soaked to the bone, a miserable looking dog by my side and I’m just in hysterics with the giggles. Being out in a Nor’easter at the coast will do that to you. People probably thought I was a crazy lady.

Life lesson: you have to laugh at this kind of stuff.

So soup. Yeah I need a big bowl of comforting soup real bad.

This Spicy Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup is great weeknight fare. You can get it all together in 30 minutes and it’s a real crowd pleaser. Everyone likes ground sausage and potatoes, right? And I think most people like kale now too!

You can use pork or chicken sausage for this recipe (I used pork). And I like to use a mix of sweet potatoes and regular russet potatoes, but you could certainly use all of one kind or the other. I find sweet potatoes take a tad longer to cook, so I toss them in about 3 to 4 minutes before the russets to give them a bit of a head start.

Cheers,

Liz

Recipe adapted from The Candid Appetite

One year ago: Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing

Spicy Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup

Serves 6-8

Spicy Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 lb spicy Italian sausage (pork or chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, depending on your preferred spice level
  • 1 large bunch curly kale (about 4 large handfuls), stemmed and chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 large russet potato, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 8 cups chicken broth (I used reduced sodium)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions

  1. If your sausage is still in the casing, remove and discard the casings.
  2. Heat a large heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until it’s no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon and breaking it up into smaller pieces. Remove the cooked sausage and place it on a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the olive oil to the pot. Then add the chopped onion, mined garlic, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits, about 5 minutes. Stir in the kale and let it cook down, about 2 minutes. Add the ground nutmeg, sweet potato slices and the chicken broth. Increase the heat to bring the soup up to a simmer. After 3-4 minutes add the russet potato slices and the cooked sausage. Simmer for about 10 minutes more, or until the potatoes are cooked, but not so soft that they are falling apart.
  4. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the heavy cream. To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
  5. Once cooled, the leftovers can be stored in your refrigerator in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/spicy-sausage-kale-and-potato-soup/
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  • Homemade Maple Cream
  • Homemade Maple Cream
  • Homemade Maple Cream

Homemade Maple Cream

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Posted on October 22, 2014

I just realized THIS is my 200th recipe on Floating Kitchen! That’s a lot of eating and a lot of dishes. And what better way to celebrate my dishpan hands than with Maple Cream.

You all know by now that maple syrup is near and dear to my heart. Like most New Englanders, I take the whole issue of maple syrup very seriously. And when I die, you’ll have to pry that cute leaf shaped bottle from my cold, stiff hands. Real talk.

One of the most downright decadent and delicious things you can do with maple syrup is turn it into Maple Cream. Never had Maple Cream before? Then you are missing out. Maple Cream is maple syrup that has been coaxed (or if we are being more scientific, the sugars become crystallized) into a thick, spreadable cream. You can use it however you would use maple syrup. In fact, I beg you to slather some on top of your pancakes or waffles. But you can also use it for so many other things. I like to dip sliced apples or pears in it. It’s great on toast with peanut butter. Or spread it between two cookies for some homemade cookie sandwiches (it’s particularly wonderful with these Maple Ginger Snaps).

Oh and don’t forget about my most favorite way to enjoy it: straight from the spoon!

Feeling generous? Give this as a gift to the maple syrup lover in your life. The Holidays are a creeping in people.

I love me some Grade B maple syrup. Despite it’s label, I find the taste far superior to Grade A. BUT, for this recipe I recommend using Grade A. Some internet searching hinted that the process doesn’t always work with Grade B (differences in the sugar content or density maybe?). So this is probably the only time I’m ever going to say this: get yourself some Grade A for this recipe.

America’s Test Kitchen has a great tutorial with step-by-step photos of the whole process. I highly recommend reading through it before you start. And there are some great tips buried in the comments thread as well. Another tip: make sure your thermometer is accurate. You don’t want to overcook this stuff!

Oh and fair warning: your arm will get tired from all the stirring. But the little extra work out is worth it for this special treat!

Cheers,

Liz

Homemade Maple Cream

Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Homemade Maple Cream

Ingredients

  • For the Maple Cream
  • 3 cups Grade A maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

  • Other
  • Several cups of ice
  • Instant read thermometer

Instructions

  1. Fill a large bowl with ice and about 1 cup of water. Nestle a clean saucepan inside the ice bath to start it cooling. Set aside.
  2. Add the maple syrup and the olive oil to a large saucepan. It will bubble and rise fairly significantly as it boils, so make sure to choose a pan that is at least double the volume of the liquid to prevent boiling over.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil, without stirring, until it reaches 235 degrees Fahrenheit. Immediately remove the pan from the heat. It’s important not to over heat the maple syrup, or you’ll end up with a hard maple candy and not a maple cream.
  4. Carefully pour the hot maple syrup into the saucepan in the ice bath. Let it cool until it reaches approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the water bath. Start stirring the cooled maple syrup with a wooden spoon. The layer at the bottom of the pan will be slightly harder (because it was closest to the ice), but as you stir it will become softer and the whole mixture will take on a more even texture.
  6. Stir the maple syrup for 10-15 minutes. You don’t have to stir it quickly, but do keep up a consistent and steady pace. As you stir, the maple syrup will lighten in color and start to loose it’s shine. The Maple Cream is done when it’s the thickness of natural peanut butter and the color of tahini paste (the color can vary slightly depending on the color of the maple syrup that you started with; i.e. a dark amber will produce a darker final product).
  7. Once it reaches this point, you want to quickly transfer it to containers for storage. Over stirring can result in the final cream being too stiff.
  8. Maple Cream can be stored in your refrigerator for up to 6 months. It’s normal for the Maple Cream to be a bit firm straight from the refrigerator. You can stir it (like you would with natural peanut butter) to loosen it up or pop it in the microwave for a few seconds. And it will also just naturally loosen up over time, so if it seems too stiff the first week or two, don’t panic!
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/homemade-maple-cream/
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