It’s been raining for days. Cold, damp, gloomy, gross rain. Makes-your-bones-cold rain. The only answer was soup. Someone sent me this Martha Stewart recipe the other day because I inspired her to buy an immersion blender and this was the first recipe she tested it out on. She was right. This recipe is ON POINT. But for my family, I knew it needed something more. So thanks, Martha, for setting the scene, but I have to give myself credit where it’s due. I took this soup to a Whole. ‘Nother. Level.
I’m not sure I could sell every member of my house on (gasp!) two meatless dinners in one week! So I added chunks of chicken sausage with spices and herbs and the smell of those cooking inspired the addition of dried cloves. Packed with green veggies to the gills already, the combination was perfection. Cures the dreariness of the day every time. Guaranteed. Here you go.
WHAT YOU NEED
* 1T olive oil
* 1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
* 4C low-sodium chicken stock
* 1 large head of broccoli, chopped into bits
* 6oz bag baby spinach, chopped
* 1/3C grated Parmesan cheese
* 2T tahini (can be found in the condiments or ethnic food section of most grocery stores)
* 1t salt
* 1/2t black pepper
* 1/4t dried cloves
* 12oz package pre-cooked Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage, casings removed
* optional, crusty bread toasts for dipping
WHAT TO DO
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the sliced leek and cook until tender, about 4 minutes.
Add the chicken stock (you can use veggie stock or water, too). Bring the pot to a rolling boil and then add the chopped broccoli. Cover and cook just 2 minutes, so that the broccoli gets tender but stays a bright green.
Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the spinach, Parmesan cheese, and tahini. Add the salt, pepper, and dried cloves. Taste for seasoning balance. If the clove is too strong, add a bit more tehini to settle it down. Let the soup cool slightly.
While the soup is cooling, remove the chicken sausage from its casings, and in a frying pan, cook it over medium heat, breaking the links into chunky bits as it browns. Cook just until warmed through and slightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Using an immersion blender, or working in batches in a blender, puree the soup until smooth. When it reaches a consistency you’re happy with, add the sausage directly to the pot and stir to combine. Return the pot to a medium-low heat to warm everything up again.
Toast up some crusty bread for dipping, and serve. Let those delicious fragrances work their way up your nose and into your belly. You’ll forget all about the gloomy weather, or whatever else is bringing you down. Enjoy!