Potato-Leek Soup with Kale and Sausage

This was more of a clean-out-the-fridge-and-freezer effort than anything else, but it turned out pretty well. I had gotten some leeks in my CSA share that I wanted to use up and had three potatoes I’d bought to make gnocchi that I was happy to surrender to the cause. The potatoes got me thinking about colcannon, the hearty, filling Irish dish of potatoes and cabbage. I didn’t have any cabbage on hand, but did have some kale that was starting to go brown around the edges. When I opened the freezer to take out my last quart of chicken stock, I noticed three links of hot Italian sausage that had been in there probably longer than was ideal and pulled them out too. I didn’t have any soup-friendly cheese, but since I was using the sausage, I didn’t think it would need it anyway.

Once everything had defrosted, I browned the sausages in a little olive oil while I chopped the leeks. Sausages out, leeks, salt, and another drizzle of olive oil in while I peeled and chopped the potatoes. They went in the pot to cook a little on their own with some more salt before the stock went in, though I don’t know that that step really added much. I had enough stock to cover it all by an inch or two, so didn’t need to top it off with water or milk, though that had been the plan, more or less. When the potatoes were tender, I gave everything a rough mash with a potato masher and added the chopped kale and the sausages, which I’d halved lengthwise and then sliced.

All said, a perfectly tasty and serviceable dish. It’s pretty soupy in the photo, but it thickened and turned into more of a stew after a night in the fridge. The Italian sausage was a little weird, flavor-wise (would have preferred kielbasa) and there was too much of it. The next batch of potato-leek soup I make — and there will be more; got another bundle of leeks in this week’s CSA share — I’ll leave out the meat and add a little cheese and some more veg.