Friday, February 1, 2013

Cajun Sausage and Sweet Potato Soup

 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.