Tuscan Potato Sausage and Kale Soup

Since the weather here is still frigid, I wanted to make a hearty soup to take to the shelter.  I am trying to hold down expenses as much as I can so I thought I would look in my freezer and see what I already had that I could use. 

Oh the shame....I came to a startling realization....I am a sausage horder!  I must have had 25 pounds of sausage tucked away.  I live in sausage heaven.  Every local butcher makes their own and they all take great pride in their special recipes. Obviously I can't contain myself when I see it for sale and I buy it is large quantities.

I had a lot of potatoes and some heads of cabbage which were perfect for this soup.  Not only are the fresh vegetables a good addition for the shelter, they really stretch the recipe.

I sauteed bacon and set it aside to drain.  Then I sauteed diced onions. carrots and celery in the bacon grease and added all of the bulk ground sausage I had.  Some of it was hot Italian sausage, some was plain pork sausage and I also added some chorizo which provided flavor as well as a good color. I added about 6 quarts of chicken stock I had in the freezer and some concentrated stock to add flavor. I added water until everything was covered.

I sliced 20 pounds of potatoes using my mandoline and chopped 3 heads of cabbage.  Obviously if you want to try this recipe you should cut it down to about 1/5th of this! The soup simmered for a couple hours until the potatoes were tender and started breaking apart.

I turned the soup down to a simmer and added the diced bacon and 2 large bunches of fresh kale along with salt and pepper to taste.

I sliced up all of the rest of the sausages.  I had kielbasa, knockwurst and  bratwurst.
After it simmered for a while I added some cream and half and half.  You could use whole milk instead but when I am cooking for people that are living on the streets and it is 5 degrees outside, the extra fat helps them to stay warm.  This made 50 quarts.  It was served with the cornbread I showed yesterday.  I hope these recipes are not too boring for you.  It's just what I am up to these days and if I don't post this, I would have nothing else to show.  Once it warms up I will be cooking for the shelter less days a week as I need to concentrate on my garden so I will eventually have other things to show!  Plus, these recipes are good enough to make at home in smaller quantities if you want to try any of them.

Much to my delight, this is what I saw when I opened my front door this morning.

This is when you know it is really cold outside.  The snow melt was not working too well.  The whole driveway is on the system but you can see it was still mostly covered in snow.

We got about 6 inches.

Teddy at her early morning post.  She listens for other dogs who have been let out in their yards and then she barks to them.  Sort of like puppy smoke signals.

The snow melt worked on the patio which made Teddy very happy.  She loves to lay on a warm patio when it is freezing outside.


Michele said…
I love all the yummy things you're making for the shelter. I know they are so grateful. The soup looks amazing.
I find these huge quantity recipes fascinating! Glad you got some beloved snow -- enjoy your winter wonderland!
Anonymous said…
this is a wonderful soup! Lots of yumminess to fill those bellies.The corn bread goes really good with this I bet!!!Enjoy your snow,
Ina in Alaska said…
Hello Joyce!!! You have more snow on the ground at your house than we do at ours!!!

We have had a very unusual "snow-challenged" winter, lots of 40+ temperatures. Some of the big upcoming dog races are in jeopardy due to lack of snow here in the Anchorage area!!!

Your recipes are never ever boring, I am always inspired by them. Love that you are doing lots for the homeless. I am sure they are thoroughly enjoying all the delicious soups, breads, and yummies that you deliver.

We are all well here, although Halle has been having health challenges lately that have been worrisome. But I know she is 14 .... but she plugs along..
Patty Woodland said…
You crack me up - sausage horder! Although I don't want to know what I have in my freezer between the deer we were given and the goats and the chickens.

ps: what kind of mandoline do you have? Mine sucks and I'm looking for a new one.
~Melissa~ said…
I love seeing all your recipes! I am a terrible cook, so they're all very interesting to me! I am so glad you post frequently. I look forward to reading it every day!
Cheryl said…
We just got 1/2" of snow down south here and the whole town shut down. Such a bunch of sissies we are.

I love seeing/reading your recipes- keep 'em coming!
Robin Larkspur said…
Never bored by your recipes, Joyce. I always imagine all the wonderful aromas in your house.
Hurray that you got snow!!
Anonymous said…
No it's not boring to see these recipes, they look delicious! Sweden is not ab great sausage country ours seems to contain mostly things that isn't meat, like potatoes and flour.

Thankfully we live close to Denmark and Germany and they do know how to make sausages :-)

Congratulations to the snow, I know You love it :-)

Have a great day!
I love reading about what you're making for the shelter! I did chuckle over having 25 lbs. of sausage on hand though! LOL!!!
Guillaume said…
Nice hearty soup for cold weather.
Good soup!

Hello to Teddy.

Happy Weekend.
Anonymous said…
I'm new to your blog. I see your thoughts were similar to mine with this post. I too decided to work with what I have in the fridge (before they all go rotten) this weekend and ended up with a hearty vegetable soup. It was a cold day here in Toronto as well. Soup hit the spot. Your soup looks simply delicious!
wendywoo said…
I too love reading about what you are cooking for the shelter. I am in awe of your seemingly boundless cooking energy! I love seeing the massive quanities you make, but am left wondering... What/when do you cook for yourselves. Nope, you are anything but boring!
Candace said…
My Polish hubby thinks sausage hording is a national sport! Keep the posts coming - you give us wonderful ideas! Hopefully the homeless will start to feel better of themselves with warm bellies and comfort food!
Barb said…
The soup looks wonderful and you got a great snow!!!
hooray for some snow-melt working! I was feeling sorry for poor Teddy... Having to toddle through SNOW! -grin-

Hooray for you! You got some snow!
Mystica said…
I love reading about all the stuff you do for the shelter and mostly the fact that you are not going for everyday stuff but take such a lot of effort to make something extra special every day.
luckybunny said…
Great way to stretch what you have. That soup looks fabulous. Unreal the snow wasn't melting with your snow melt! LOL at Teddy listening for any other dogs :)