Sunday, January 9, 2011

Kielbasa Potato Soup with Caramelized Onions and Kale Chips

An antidote to winter

I don't think I'm alone in saying that soup is one of winter time's greatest joys. I was visiting friends on a cold winter's day, replete with blue skies, scintillating sun and blustery wind that swept the powdery snow every which way. While riding on a tobbaggan behind their four-year old son, which was being pulled by a snowmobile, I fell off on a fast turn. Not wearing snow pants (like a rube, I might add) I was cold to the bone when I finally got home. No matter. This soup warmed me up in no time at all.

This soup was born out of leftovers, as many good soups are. I've broken it down to be a stand alone recipe. However, you might want to have kielbasa sauteed with onions and boiled potatoes the night before and just make sure you have a good amount of leftovers!

Kielbasa and Potato Soup with Caramelized Onions and Kale Chips
Boil six potatoes in their jackets, peel when cool. Can be done the day before and kept in the fridge. Right before they are to be added to the soup, mash each one with a potato masher squarely, so they are not mashed but instead in nice cubes and chunks.

Make kale chips. Can be done a week beforehand. Keep in an airtight container.
1 large bunch of kale. Stem removed and chopped. Spread out on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for ten or fifteen minutes. Maybe longer. Keep an eye on it! It goes from crisp to burnt in a matter of a minute. I like to salt them when they come out of the oven.

In a large Dutch oven pour one or two tablespoonfuls of olive oil and saute two medium yellow onions and one small red onion until brown and sweet. I like to slice them in thin wedges.

Add in one large red pepper in large dice a little before the onions are done, so they become soft.

Add a large kielbasa in at the same time as the peppers. Cut in slices on the diagonal, cut in half. Let them brown a little as the onions caramelize.

Then add the potatoes and six cups of water, slowly, so that it never gets cold. Add about two cups of water and two potatoes at a time, waiting for it to come to a simmer again, then adding the next batch. When you have them all added, and it's back to a simmer, let the soup cook with the lid partially on for about ten minutes. Then add half the kale chips, which will turn into the kale with the soft consistency of spinach. Reserve the rest of the chips to serve on the table for whoever wants more kale or some crunch.

The kielbasa salts the soup, so you don't really need to add any salt at all. Maybe a few grinds of pepper. Now all you need to do is fall off a speeding snowmobile!

Potatoes, kale, kielbasa, onions- that's it!


  1. This sounds very delicious. I'm going to give it a try!

  2. Looks so good. Yum. I think I might leave the skins on the potatoes. Bad idea?

  3. first of all i totally love your new format. second of all, from this slovakain-hungarian (ok, and italian american but forgettaboutit) vegetarian; ooooh kielbasa - a distant and loving memory!

    ps: i had an amazing time in india but it's good to be back reading about the food you're eating!

    pps: india has a lot of things, but wine it doesn't, thank god my larder does...sigh.


  4. Kaytee - Cool! I'm sure it will be delish.

    Denise - I leave skins on a lot of the time, but with the potatoes I had it seemed to be the way. I'll bet if you used yukons, for example, it'd be fine. Let me know, either way!

    Tigress - Thank you! The blogosphere (and wine) missed you very much! Although I'm sure you had a wonderful time being unplugged and in one of your favorite places in the world! Can't wait to hear ALL about it. With pictures, please!

  5. Seeing as I live with the pickiest man alive, you wouldn't think I could get away with making something like this, but I totally can! Of all things, he LOVES KALE! Looks simple and wonderful to me, and going on the soup list for next week - thanks!

  6. There's just no way of combining sausage, potatoes & kale that isn't wonderful, no?

    And I agree with la Tigress, the new clean design looks fabulous. Kudos!

    And while I'm a potato-peel lover myself - I always peel 'em for soups. I find that the peel floats off of the potato and stand-alone peel in soups? Not so much. But yes, likely depends on the variety of potato.

  7. Rebecca - Isn't that fortunate! You would think he wouldn't like kale. What will be nice is you'll have some of that beer sourdough made to go with it...

    Kaela - So right! I've been on a soup roll, lately, and sausage has been playing a major role. And dried beans. And kale.
    And thanks for the kudos! I needed to clean house!
    Good point on the skins, btw.