Kale, Potato and Chorizo Soup… 2 versions(with sauerkraut or cream)

Kale, Potato and Chorizo Soup… 2 versions(with sauerkraut or cream). When I made the homemade chorizo some time ago, I knew I wanted to use some of it to make a soup. At the time I was looking to make a homey, comforting sort of soup…. or more like a rustic looking soup that would use minimal ingredients and be somewhat on the healthier side. The usual combination of potato and onion often imparts a wonderful flavor to soups… and normally it adds “bulk” so the soup stretches quite a bit. And because I had plenty of kale in my garden( it lasts well into the cool months), I wanted to add some of it to the soup as well. Kale stands up remarkably well in soups, so I picked up a whole bunch thinking I was going to make just one type of soup. Instead I made 2… 
Dividing the soup in 2 was more like a last minute decision. Initially, I wanted to use up most of the kale I had already picked from my garden, but after tasting the soup, I knew the flavors would go incredibly well with some sauerkraut. I had plenty of pickled cabbage in the fridge, so why not add some? The sauerkraut addition made the soup so good that I want to make it again. It was simply delicious.
In the end, I decided to use up all the kale I had picked, so it made the soup feel quite “full”… lots of leafy vegetables, potatoes and meat… with minimal liquid. And I was alright with that. But if you want more liquid, then you can increase the stock if you like, or cut down on the kale. Also you don’t have to make 2 versions of the soup, you can just stick with the original by using just kale, potato and chorizo… and adding cream to taste. You’ll end up with a delicious soup. But if you want to skip the cream (no dairy), then making the sauerkraut version is just as delicious. My husband really enjoyed the sauerkraut variation.
In any case, I split the soup in 2 just to see the difference… and to have some variety as leftovers. The soup is great to play around with, because sometimes the ingredients work so well together, that you can just adjust the soup to taste. Potato, onion and seasoned meat always marry well. If you like, you can skip the kale, and add some spinach, or even omit it all together. And while I added half water, half stock for the liquid, you can use just stock for additional flavor. Also, you can skip the cream( though it makes the soup taste extra special) and top with some fresh green onion, and maybe some crumbled bacon. These are just ideas… but the soup is rather easy to make(one pot)… and makes for a quick meal. It’s also gluten-free and has the option of being made dairy-free. A great fall-like soup that warms you through and through. Hope you enjoy…      
Tip: If you don’t have chorizo, opt to use ground beef and adjust seasoning to include some spice of sorts, including a bit of smoked paprika.

You will need: 
1 lb russet potatoes 
2 cups diced onion(1 large onion)
1 large garlic clove, grated
1/2 cup water, for deglazing
3-4 cups chicken stock
2 1/2 cups water
2-4 cups packed chopped kale(I used 4 cups)
salt and pepper as needed
Optional add ins: dividing the soup in half (or you can make the soup one version only and doubling ingredient of choice below, be it sauerkraut or cream)
1 cup shredded homemade sauerkraut to 1/2 of soup
1/4 cup cream, or to taste  added to the other 1/2 of soup
1. Wash and peel potatoes. Cut in thick slices and cut each slice in quarters. Set aside. Wash and roughly chop kale. Set aside. Dice onion and grate garlic. Set aside. 
2. In a large soup pot, add chorizo sausage meat and cook on medium heat breaking up the sausage meat to a crumble. Cook meat until nicely browned.
3. Add onion and garlic and continue to cook until onion softens, stirring every so often so as not to burn… about 5 minutes.
4. Add the 1/2 cup water  to de-glaze, scraping any browned bits that may have formed at the bottom of the pot… continue to cook until water is almost evaporated but meat still has a bit of moisture.
5. Pour the chicken stock and 2 1/2 cups water over meat.
6. Add the cut potatoes and bring soup to a boil, cover and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. 
7. Add kale and cooker for another 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Adjust seasoning.
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8. At this point you can make 2 versions of the soup: 
~Divide in 2: you will need another pot
1) Add 1 cup of shredded sauerkraut to half of the soup and cook on low for another 5 minutes until the sauerkraut gives off its flavor.  
2) Add 1/4 cup cream(or to taste) to the other half of the soup and simmer for 3-5 minutes.  
~OR Make ONE type of soup by choosing one preferred version below:
1) Add 2 cups sauerkraut and cook on low for about 5-7 minutes.
2) Add 1/2 cup cream and simmer for 3-5 minutes

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