Sausage, Kale & Potato Soup with Fig Compote

If this is what you see out your bedroom window when you wake up –

This is what you have for lunch.


Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup with Fig Compote

I don’t know if I’m gilding the lily with the compote or not, but whenever I see sausages I think of figs, and I liked the richness a dollop of it added to the soup. Mr TBTAM thought the soup was perfect without it, but then he spread the compote on warm bread and ate it along with the soup. You can make and eat it either way. Or not at all. Because the soup really is delicious all on its own.

There are lots of recipes for this soup out there out there – this one is modified from Epicurious, found via Smitten Kitchen. We used Italian sausage, but I’d love to try it with Kielbasa or the more traditional Portuguese Linguica sausage. Smoked sausage will slice up easier than Italian, and would add a wonderful flavor. If you use linguica, you may not need the herbs since the sausage is spiced nicely. You can use white potatoes, sweet potatoes or both – I used what I happened to have around. Not sure why I added the carrot, it was probably not necessary.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ( 2 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1 inch slices
1 lb (2 medium) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1 inch slices
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 large carrots – peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves,  peeled and diced
1 coil sweet italian sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, or 1/2 tsp dried
1 large bunch kale, washed, middle spine cut out and leaves torn or chopped into bite-sized pieces
6 cups chicken stock
Salt, pepper and a pinch of hot red pepper flakes for seasoning.

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium high heat. Add sausage and saute till browned on all sides.

Remove sausage and set aside. Try not to eat any. (You can drain them on paper towels and remove some of the fat from the pot if you want at this point.)

Add onions and carrots to the pot and saute till onions are transluscent, about 8 minutes.

Add potatoes and saute, stirring often, about 10 minutes or until they start to soften.

Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add broth, thyme, oregano and bring to a boil, deglazing pan as it heats. Turn down heat and simmer covered, till potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes.

Mash the potatoes in the pot with a potato masher, just enough to thicken the sauce a bit, but leaving plenty of potato chunks (this step is optional, and I may not do it in the future.)

Add the kale and the sausage

and heat till kale is wilted.

Season and serve hot, with fig compote on the side. You can stir a spoonful of the compote into your soup, or spread it on warm bread and eat alongside the soup. Or not.

Fig Compote

10 dried mission figs, stems removed and diced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper

Combine ingredients and simmer in a small pot over low heat, mashing the figs with a fork as they soften, until thick and rich. Serve either as a dollop in your soup or spead onto warm baguette slices.

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