Winter Greens and Sausage Soup Serves 6-8
I’m a big fan of winter greens, such as kale, spinach, and collards that grow in my garden long into fall, and can be protected under hoop houses for winter harvest. Everything about this soup is satisfying, from the sweet and spicy sausages to the hearty greens, add winter carrots or parsnips for more vegetable variety.
I have a fondness for collard greens, an overlooked leaf that deserves more attention, with flat open leaves are easy to prepare: Stack them and roll up in a tube, then slice into thin strips, or chiffonade. Serve this soup with fragrant herbed cheese bread, and a pat of Vermont-made butter for a truly soul-satisfying meal.
¼ cup olive oil, divided
3 hot Italian sausages, cut into ½-inch pieces
3 sweet Italian sausages, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Salt and fresh ground pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds (about 6-8) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into ¾-inch pieces
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
1 pound collard greens, stacked and sliced into fine strips, yielding about 6 cups.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 8-quart stock pot over medium high heat until shimmering. Add sausages and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium and add onion, garlic, and the pepper flakes. Season with generous sprinkling of salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add potatoes, broth, and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, until potatoes are just tender.
With a measuring cup or soup ladle, transfer 1 cup of vegetable solids and 1 cup broth to a blender. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil to the soup in the blender and process until very smooth and well-blended, about 1 minute. Set aside.
Add collard greens to soup pot and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sausages and corn, and continue to simmer until greens are tender, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Stir the pureed soup mixture back into the pot, bring back to a simmer, and serve hot.