The other night we were running late and the meal I was planning was derailed after I realized that Chip had used the potatoes I needed in the potato leek soup he made the night before. (Can I just say that having a husband who can cook is a little bit of heaven?) So we looked at what we had around the house to make quickly and Chip suggested this soup – which is one of our stand-by favorite quick dinners. We try to keep the ingredients on-hand because it is a good fallback meal. The recipe came from Bon Appetit Magazine – which we know is my favorite recipe magazine – and you can always get it by doing a search on their website. But if you want to see what we do, just keep reading. 🙂
The first step – as in most of my soups – is to chop the onion. We make a big pot of soup so we chop two onions and start them sauteing in our soup pot in some olive oil. I use around a quarter cup of oil, but I admit, I don’t really measure – I just pour it in and see if it looks like enough.
Okay, I am stopping the recipe to talk about how to slice an onion, because Chip and I argue about the proper way to cut an onion. The way I do it is to cut the onion in half from top to bottom, place the cut side down on the cutting mat and then cut long slices along the vertical lines running through the onion (or close to them) starting at one end of the onion and following around the circle.
Yes, I am wearing a Star Wars light saber bandage on my finger I had cut earlier in the week. I live with a bunch of boys, what can I say. . . Back to the onion.
Then I turn the onion and cut across the sections horizontally to chop them.
Seems obvious to me – but my beloved husband cuts the onion in half horizontally and then cuts across the onion to form rings. Not sure which one of us is right on this one, but I strongly suspect it is me. (Hah!)
Okay, back to the recipe. Next you take a bunch of cloves of garlic – I use about 8 – and mince them also. If you want to shortcut this, you can use the jarred garlic – this is supposed to be a quick meal after all.
While that is sauteing, you slice your kielbasa. Because we make a double batch of soup we use two 12 ounce rings of store bought kielbasa, though if we have time to get to the meat market, we will get a big ring of good kielbasa from there. I have to give a shout out to The Smokehouse of the Catskills where we go for our polska kielbasa. Happiness.
Throw in the kielbasa with some thyme and a splash of crushed red pepper flakes into the soup pot. The recipe calls for fresh thyme but to pull apart enough thyme to make a tablespoon plus of leaves takes too long – and again, this is supposed to be quick – so I just use a teaspoon and a half or so of dried thyme.
Cook the onion, garlic, kielbasa and spices in the olive oil until the onions are soft and your kielbasa is warmed through – 10-12 minutes.
While that is sauteing, we wash and rip the leaves off of one bunch of kale. I don’t chop the kale, we just pull it off the stems in small sections. I also rinse and drain two 15 ounce size cans of cannellini beans.
When the onion/kielbasa mix is ready, I pour in three 32 ounce size boxes of a good health food brand of chicken broth. After you bring the broth to a boil, stir in the kale and the cannellini beans and simmer until the kale is wilted – anywhere from 4 to 8 minutes – depending on how curly your kale is.
Then we throw in some frozen tortellini. The boys are partial to the tri-color pastas. You cook the tortellini right in the broth. We probably use about two pounds. The recipe calls for one 9 ounce package per recipe (remember we are doubling our batch) but in my house, with my boys, we add more.
This is looking good, isn’t it? We like to pair this soup with a nice loaf of sourdough bread.
Cook the soup until the tortellini is cooked. We let it cool down in the pot before serving it because everyone wants to just start eating it and nobody wants a burned tongue. We wait about 15 minutes, after which everyone is saying they will be careful and blow on the spoon just so they can sit down and start eating. We pass around a bowl of asiago or parmesan cheese to sprinkle on the top and it is ready to eat.
I have no idea if it is a healthy meal or not but it’s quick, its filling and it tastes great. We love it and I hope you will too.
I will end with another picture of my Vash reading at home. I seem to get a big kick out of this because I take these pictures almost every day. I just love that Vash is so very beloved by the Beagles because he so loves them. My life.
Onward and upward. . . . .