The Toronto Santa Claus parade is this afternoon. I'm not sure how we got to the almost-winter-holiday stage of this year already, but when the jolly red guy embarks on the city, I feel that we can officially consider ourselves in merry-making mode.
This holiday season is a little different for me. I'm slightly less prepared than I usually am at this point, but only because I feel that I don't need to be so hurried. For the first time in five years, I'm going to be working from home in December, and not inside the frazzled spaces of a catering company.
If you can, imagine gathering your entire immediate family into your too small kitchen, and while you're all tired, a little grumpy and slightly anxious, you band together to prepare nine Thanksgiving dinners. In one day. I don't mean dinner for nine. I mean nine separate dinners, each for 10 or more people. That's what it's like to work in catering over the holidays. Only you repeat the scene for 25 days in a row.
This year my December will be spent working in the confines of my tiny kitchen, and at the new wooden desk Rob built for me. I probably didn't mention it here, but I'm now the Food Editor over at SavvyMom. In addition to the parties I work on there, and the blog I write, I'll also be overseeing the EatSavvy section of the website. I'm thrilled to be part of the team there, and I'll try to keep you abreast of all the fun things we do in that space.
So while I may not be prepared in the gifting sense of the holidays, I am organized in the food sense. My freezer is filling up with cookies and just as importantly, soups. It can be a task to keep the family eating well in the busy days leading up to Christmas, but with frozen soups lined up like toy soldiers, I feel ready for the challenge.
Sausage, Kale and Potato Soup (adapted from Epicurious)
The original recipe called for the use of water in this soup. I really think it's completely enhanced with the addition of a good quality or homemade chicken stock. I also added a few red pepper flakes which didn't bother the kids at all, but did add a slight amount of heat to the dish.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 red potatoes, peeled and diced
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 6 sausages (sweet Italian or Chorizo)
- 1 pound kale, ribs removed and leaves cut into thin slices
Cook the onion in the oil in a dutch oven or large pot set over medium heat, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the potato, and stirring occasionally, cook for 4 minutes. Add the stock and summer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the casing from the sausage and place it in a nonstick skillet set over medium high heat. Using a wooden spoon, break the meat up into small pieces and cook until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
When the potatoes are tender, add the sausage to the pot and simmer 5 minutes. Add the kale and cook until tender, another 5 minutes.
Season if desired and serve with crusty bread.