We’ve been on a soup kick lately, and so far this winter have kept up our pot-of-soup-a-week pace. Not only is it hearty food for the season, it’s been really convenient to cook once and have food for lots more meals. I think my favorite so far has been this fennel-potato soup that Dina made for Thanksgiving. The soup is pretty great on its own, but the smoked salmon garnish takes it to another level — don’t skip it.

Mostly for my own sake, I wanted to write down how I made this week’s pot-o-goodness (which was indeed tasty, if not as good as the fennel-potato soup), a sausage/kale/potato number that is really a franken-recipe cobbled together from 20 minutes of recipe searching online. If you make it and like it, let me know.


  • 3-4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 lb. un-cased, un-cooked sausage (I used a package of amazing lamb sausage from Uli’s, a local favorite)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/3 c. wine (or sherry or vermouth or just use some of the broth if you don’t want to add any alcohol)
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 2 c. water
  • 6-7 medium potatoes (I used Yukon Golds), cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped roughly and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, and/or maybe a little hot sauce

Add about 1 tablespoon of the oil to your stockpot over medium high heat, add the garlic, and then the sausage. Use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage as it browns. Yes, you could totally “cheat” and use pre-cooked sausage, slice it up, and add it back to the soup later on. But then you miss out on all the good little crispy bits, and everyone loves good little crispy bits. So brown your sausage, but don’t burn it or overcook it. You’ll be adding it to hot soup later on, so don’t worry too much if it’s not 100% cooked-through. Once it’s browned, put the sausage/garlic mixture into a bowl, and put it in the fridge.

Now, add the remaining 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot, then add the onions. Saute them for 5 or so minutes, not quite fully cooking through, but maybe starting to get a little brown. The bottom of your stockpot should still have those crispy bits of sausage stuck to it, and maybe now a little browned onion, too. Add your wine (or sherry, or vermouth, or just a little stock), and deglaze the pot. Use your spoon to scrape up all the tasty stuff off the bottom.

Add the broth and water at this point, then the potatoes and kale. Simmer, covered, for about an hour, or longer if you get really into the dovetail joints you’re cutting in your workshop several blocks away.

When you’re ready to eat, add the vinegar and the sausage/garlic mixture back in. Stir, taste, and adjust seasoning (including salt & pepper) as necessary.

posted November 29, 2012 – 1:32 pm

It’s been a busy month, and I’ve finally had a chance to put up some photos from the end of the summer.

Dina and Dave

First, some pictures from a weekend on Whidbey Island for Dina’s birthday in September. And second, photos from our Montana trip in early October.

posted November 27, 2012 – 10:52 am
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