Sep 8, 2012
Weekend Cooking: Soup Season is Coming!
I call this my Hearty Potato, Bean and Kielbasa Soup. Kielbasa has always been a staple in my family and we've prepared it just about every way you can imagine. But I especially like it in soups. It has such great flavor and the longer the soup sits, the better it gets. First I'll show the stove-top method for this deliciously flavored soup. It only takes about 40 minutes to make, which is another reason I love it.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 nice sized carrot, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, mined
32 oz. chicken broth (or half chicken/half beef)
2 large russet potatoes, cubed
1 can cannelloni beans, undrained
1 pd Kielbasa, sliced and halved (if you like smaller pieces, quarter the slices)
1 can cream soup (celery, chicken or mushroom)
8 oz.(or 1 soup can full) whole milk
white mushroom caps, sliced (optional)
1 Tbsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup pot, saute carrot, celery, onions and garlic in olive oil until tender. About 5-6 minutes. Add garlic last so it doesn't scorch and get bitter-tasting. You'll also want to season these with a pinch of salt and pepper so the flavor is layered throughout. Then add cubed potatoes and stir around for just a minute, then add broth and bring to a nice simmer. Add basil, oregano and bay leaf, or whatever combinations of seasonings you prefer. Stir and cover simmering until potatoes are just tender. Add sliced kielbasa and beans. Continue simmering for several minutes, then add cream soup and milk. Continue to simmer while soup begins to thicken a bit. If you like a thicker soup, you can add a milk/flour thickening to get your desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until heated through - about 5 minutes. If you are adding mushrooms, do so now. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving. This soup is delicious served with slices of crusty bread.
If using a crockpot, simply put all ingredients and seasonings in crockpot, adding liquids last. Give it a nice stir to combine and cook on low for 8 hours or until vegetables and beans are soft.
One great thing about this recipe is that the longer it sits, the more flavor the kielbasa brings to the soup. Another thing I love is that you can do so many variations of this recipe depending on what you have in your pantry. If you don't like the beans, omit them and add two more potatoes. Or add a can of whole kernel corn to make it more like a chowder and add some sweetness to the dish. You could even add a pinch or two of Cayenne pepper for a spicy soup.
When I made the soup earlier this week, it made great leftovers and reheated perfectly. It kept its consistency - not thick but also not runny. It was perfect for my taste. And I hope it is for yours too. This is the type of soup I thrive on and I'll probably never make it the same way twice. That's the beauty of it. I hope you will try it out and if you do, I'd love to hear how you liked it. Thanks for allowing me to share my love of soup with you.
For more great cooking posts, be sure to stop by BethFishReads for Weekend Cooking every Saturday!