Friday, October 5, 2012

Kielbasa and Mixed Greens Soup

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Kielbasa and greens soup with a slice of homemade bread
Kielbasa and greens soup with a slice of homemade bread

Now that school is back in full swing again all of the extra-curricular activities are kicking in too.  We have a couple of nights a week where the schedule gets pretty complicated.  For those nights we eat what we call First Dinner and Second Dinner.  First Dinner is necessary to fuel the kids for their high activity sports, replenish them after the school day, and to keep them going an hour past our usual dinner time.  The downside with First Dinner is that it is served far too early for the rest of the family.  Second dinner is to top up the kids and to feed the rest of us a meal that satisfies while also being quick to fix.  Having easy to use leftovers doesn't hurt either since I never know who will be eating how much.

Kielbasa and mixed greens soup meets all of these requirements for me.  The soup cooks quickly, the leftovers are even better the next day and I can easily get everyone fed a big bowl of comfort food.  The kinds of greens you use is really up to you and what you have on hand that night.  I like to use kale, spinach, chard, bok choy, beet greens and cabbage but use whatever your family enjoys.

The key to keeping this soup's cooking time short is to use a small dice when preparing your ingredients.  The onion, kielbasa and potato all need to be uniform in size and about 1/2".  The greens need to be rolled up and thinly sliced into long ribbons so that they will cook quickly and meld into the rest of the soup.  Taking a little extra time during the prep to do things small will ensure the final meal gets to the table fast.



Kielbasa and Mixed Greens Soup
If you need a bold and full flavored meal that comes together quickly, this soup will do the job very well.
Ingredients
  • 3/4 lb kielbasa sausage, pre-cooked, small dice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, small dice
  • 1 cup kale, chiffonade
  • 1 cup bok choy, chiffonade
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chiffonade
  • 1 1/2 cups yukon gold potato, small dice
  • 6 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or even water
  • to taste kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Tbs stone ground mustard
Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot over a medium-high flame, add the olive oil and onion. Cook for a couple of minutes until the onions begin to soften.
  2. Add in the diced kielbasa and stir frequently, getting just a bit of crisp on the sausage. Now add in your greens to the onion and kielbasa mixture, stirring frequently. Once the greens have begun to wilt, add in the chicken stock. 
  3. Add in the potatoes and bring the whole thing up to a boil. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Quite often I find this dish does not need any additional salt due to what the kielbasa brings, so wait until you taste before adding any.
  4. Stir in the tablespoon of stone ground mustard and boil gently until the potatoes are done, 15 - 20 minutes. Serve this soup immediately with a slice of fresh bread. Any leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 4 - 5 days.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 - 8 servings

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