Cooking for the shelter has been a very interesting experience. Finding good food at low prices is a challenge in and of itself. Figuring out what to make with it is a whole other challenge. A local butcher had homemade Cajun andouille sausage on sale for 1.99. And I found sweet potatoes on sale for 39 cents a pound. On first thought, these might not sound like a good combination. However, they worked perfectly together.
In my continuing effort to empty my freezers, I pulled out a chunk of slab bacon, sliced it and browned it in my humongous pot. I set it aside to drain and then chopped it up and added it back to the soup.
At first, I thought I would use carrots but then realized that with sweet potatoes, I really did not need them. The 2 large packages of sausage cost about 10.00.
I sauteed lots of celery and onions in the leftover bacon grease. I spiced the soup with S&P, granulated garlic, thyme and celery salt. Then I added the cut up sausage and browned it along with the vegetables.
I added chicken stock which I made from Teddy's roasted chicken from the other day. Then added water and some bouillon for flavor. Using a very flavorful sausage is the key to this soup. I cubed all of the potatoes, 2 large bunches of kale and added them to the stock and brought it to a boil. Then I added 2 pounds of dry pasta shells and turned off the heat, stirring them occasionally until they were cooked. As an afterthought, I cut up some of my oven roasted tomatoes and Turkish roasted peppers and threw them in too. I also added Parmesan rinds which I had saved in the freezer. They add excellent flavor to soups. Remove them just before serving.
The smell was fantastic. As soon as I walked into the shelter someone yelled, the soup lady is here. Hahaha!
Though I made this up as I went along, I will definitely be making it in the future. It ended up being one of the best soups I've ever made.