What's for Dinner?! Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup
First, I have to just step on my soapbox for just a quick second since I have your attention.
I had to go to Sam's Club today. We're big fans of bulk shopping around here. It's a lot cheaper. And I buy our produce there all the time...it's good, fresh, and costs a lot less. Plus, my kids and my husband really love the samples they do there!
Anyways, Tid Bit was getting hungry when we went. It was only 11am, but I think he was hoping I'd get him a cinnamon pretzel. I told him if he was hungry I'd get him a hot dog but that's it. So we were standing in line to get one when I was done with the main shopping part. He kept poking his finger into a bag of red, orange, and yellow peppers I bought while we were waiting. (Aside...I'm going to teach you how to make some killer stuffed peppers here soon too.) I didn't want him to mess them up and so I said "Do not do that again, or we will leave without getting a hot dog." So what do you think he did since I'm such a fabulous parent and all? He obeyed perfectly and then apologized.
Ok, so that's not actually what he did...at all. He poked his finger right onto that gorgeous waxy looking red pepper...didn't poke it hard, but he tapped it. A test...hmmm...I think I know who always wins those. So what did I do then you may ask? Well, Kudos to me today... because I did just as I said and wheeled that cart right towards the door, which had to be like a whole football field's distance away from where we were. And Tid Bit lost it....screaming. Thinking maybe if he screamed louder then I'd relent I guess. So I held my head high, looked straight ahead, walked with purpose, and seriously contemplated that the next time that happens and I have the WHOLE FREAKING WORLD staring at me and making judgements about my parenting...I think I'm going to add in a pageant wave... just for effect. Bring it people...watch me wave!
Sorry about that, but I just had to get it out. I know you're really here today because you want a good recipe. I'm in the process of making it myself so to keep you from waiting right now (and to make sure I get it posted today) I'm going to add in the pictures of the process later this evening.
This soup is probably one of my all-time favorites. I love hearty and flavorful soups and this one meets both of those requirements. It is also one of those that is even better the next day! The original recipe says to cut the sausage into rounds, but I cut the sausage lengthwise and then crosswise to make half-rounds because I like to have bites that have a little bit of everything each time! It's also really gorgeous...look at this picture. This is the one that originally snagged me because it was on the cover of Bon Appetit Magazine several years ago. So if you don't know yet if you trust me when it comes to recipes, then for this one, trust Bon Appetit.
And just in case you're wondering when you get to the part where you can choose linguica or chorizo sausage...that will depend on your ability to tolerate a little spicy heat. My personal preference is the chorizo, but that tends to be on the spicy side for my kids, so I go with the Linguica because it is more mild. Best case scenario I think for the whole family though is to mix the two, but that means you are buying a package of both and dividing them which gets pricey for the first time you make this. (You can totally freeze the extra for another time though.)
The cook times on this are pretty exact too which is nice. You can serve this up in less than an hour from when you start it. I'd recommend doing all the prep work earlier in the day though because chopping everything takes about as long as cooking it all.
I cut enough potatoes to fill a gallon size ziplock bag. Also, this Gaspar's brand is the linguica & chorizo that I really like!
I just realized that since the day I posted this turned out to be a crazy one, these are the only pictures I took of the process! Sorry!
If you read the post on how to make your own chicken stock then this is the perfect place to use it!
And please also, for crying out loud, when you get to the part about cutting an onion and you start to take out a paring knife, look back HERE because you might benefit from an onion cutting tutorial!
And now, I give you...the recipe!
SWEET POTATO AND SAUSAGE SOUP
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 10- to 11-ounce fully cooked smoked Portuguese linguiça sausage or chorizo sausage, cut in half lengthwise and then crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 medium onions, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams; about 2 large), peeled, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 pound white-skinned potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
6 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 9-ounce bag fresh spinach
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook until brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to paper towels to drain. Add onions and garlic to pot and cook until translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add all potatoes and cook until beginning to soften, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Add broth; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Using potato masher, mash some of potatoes in pot. Add browned sausage to soup. Stir in spinach and simmer just until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and serve.