It's been two months since my surgery, and I'm slowly coming back to myself. My strength is up, my stamina is up, and while I'd say I'm only about 80%, I can do SO MUCH MORE these days. It's exhilarating to feel like me. To that end, I've been cooking again this past week. And since Saturday was the first distribution from the Shared Harvest CSA, I knew I had to get cracking in the kitchen in order use all we have.
This soup is a lip-smacking, hearty, nutritious, complete meal-in-a-bowl. The beauty of this is that it's both forgiving and "hands-off". If it's taking you longer to clean your kale and your onions are done, just turn off the burner and finish your chopping. Just be sure not to chop your sweet potatoes too small, or to cook them for too long. It's nice to have bright orange chunks of potato in this soup and otherwise, they'll turn to mush. As always, this soup is even better day two. Serve with a really good loaf of crusty bread.
Kale, Sweet Potato, and Kielbasa Soup (adapted from the LATimes)
1 large bunch curly kale, roughly chopped 2 very large sweet potatoes (or 6 small ones), peeled and cut into large bite-size chunks 3 large yellow onions, chopped 3 T. garlic, chopped 5 T. extra-virgin olive oil 2 bay leaves 1¼ t. dried thyme 26-oz. box diced tomatoes (such as Pomi), and their juice 2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth 1 link fully-cooked turkey kielbasa (around 1 lb.), cut in slices 1/3” - 1/2” thick Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper
Heat a 6-quart heavy pan or stock pot over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and then the onions and cook for about eight minutes, stirring frequently until the onions become translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook and stir for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock, tomatoes and their juice, thyme, bay leaves, a few grinds of pepper, kielbasa slices and the kale. Turn up the heat, bring to a boil, and then adjust heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, cover again, and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 more minutes. Remove from heat. Taste the soup and add salt or additional pepper as desired. Serve.