Out with sandals... in with socks and fuzzy slippers to keep our feet warm. Out with windows wide open for a cross breeze... in with an extra blanket or two on the bed. Out with salads from the garden box... in with soup simmering on the stove.
We don't want to rush the seasons -- we're still savoring local tomatoes and will enjoy at least one more Caprese salad before fully surrendering to fall.
We also don't want to peak too early with soup, which is something we eat A LOT of in fall and winter. It's so easy to make and so versatile -- perfect with a grilled cheese sandwich or panini for supper and perfect to pack for the office. Because who needs a ho-hum lunch?
The guys at Main Street Farms, of Homer and Cortland, were offering two big, beautiful bunches of kale for $5 on a recent Saturday at the CNY Regional Market, and I couldn't resist.
We enjoyed one bunch with our supper that night, and saved the second one to make soup a couple days later.
This is a quick soup, ready in 20 minutes or so, after you've done the prep work. Enjoy it on its own, or serve it with crusty, toasted bread if you can afford a few more calories.
1 big bunch of kale, washed well and rough chopped
8 cups chicken stock or broth
Kosher salt, as needed
Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)
If using sausage: Remove the casing, break into pieces and brown over medium heat. Drain, blot with paper towels and set aside.
In the same pot: Heat oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and cook until it is translucent then reduce the heat a bit and cook until onion begins to caramelize. Add the garlic, the crushed red pepper and the black pepper and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the potatoes and toss with the onion mixture at the bottom of the pot. Add the kale and toss again. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking. Add the broth, stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes and kale are tender. Add the sausage to the soup pot in the last few minutes of cooking.
Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve the soup with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, if desired. Makes about 8 servings.