Monday, July 22, 2013

Cauliflower, Potato and Sausage Soup

There is nothing easier or heartier than a good soup! This is a favorite of ours that I make pretty often. It is perfect for cold winter nights or even rainy summer days. :)

It is as easy as throwing everything into a large soup pot and letting it simmer. I love this soup because it never really turns out the same. I use whatever I have on hand. You can change up the sausage, the veggies, the herbs or the cheese and really make it your own.

This is one of those recipes that I do not measure anything! I simply just pick out my ingredients, prep the veggies and the meat and throw everything together. There are so many ways to make this.

You can probably google cauliflower, potato and sausage soup and you will come up with many different recipes. Essentially this is how I did it.

(Herbs from left to right: oregano, parsely, thyme and sage)

(Some nice red potatoes I got from the Farmer's Market)

You will need:
- 4 cups chicken broth ( I used one of the boxed varieties)
- 1/2 head of cauliflower chopped
- 4 medium red potatoes chopped
- 1 lb. sausage
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 1 large carrot or 6 baby carrots diced
- 1 small onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic diced
- 1/2 Tbsp fresh sage
- 1/2 Tbsp fresh oregano
- 1/2 Tbsp fresh parsley
- 1/2 Tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese *optional
- 1/4 cup half and half *optional
- salt and pepper to taste ( I used white pepper since it was a creamy soup)

You will want to first take the sausage out of the casing and brown it in the pan. Once browned, take out of the pan and reserve in a bowl for later. Over medium low heat, in the sausage fat left in the pan sauté all of your chopped and diced veggies. If there wasn't very much fat you can add some olive oil or bacon grease if your feeling frisky. I always reserve my bacon grease in a little mason jar for times like these. :)

Once the veggies are in the pot, add a little salt to extract some of the water and help the veggies soften. Once the onions are translucent add the herbs. If you don't have fresh herbs on hand then you can use dry herbs just increase the amount by 1/2 tsp.

Once the herbs are added, stir up the veggies, add the bay leaf and add the chicken broth. Turn the heat up to medium high until the soup starts to simmer. Once it reaches a simmer, place a lid over the pot and turn the heat down to low. Let this simmer on low for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

When the potatoes are soft you will want to take out the bay leaf and use an immersion blender, regular blender or even a potato masher to mash up part of the soup. This will help make it smooth and creamy. You can leave as many or as few chunks of potato as you want. David likes HUGE pieces of potatoes in his soup so I  left a lot of large chunks and only blended for 2-3 seconds.

Once that is done, add the sausage back into the soup. Then you can also add the cheese and half and half. You don't have to add any of these things if you are looking for a healthier or vegetarian alternative.

Remember this soup is VERY versatile and you can really make it your own by adding or leaving out certain things.

I used an Asiago, Parmesan and Romano cheese blend. Usually I just thrown in some Parmesan but you can use what you have on hand.

Once the cheese has melted and the soup is still nice and hot, add salt and pepper to taste and you are all done!!!

We like to dish the soup up and then add a little hot sauce for a spicy, vinegary kick.

Hope you enjoy!!!


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