Kitchen Adventures || Cozy Comfort Food – Hearty Soup

From: CrossFit Austin

It’s kind of strange how food can bring so much comfort emotionally, but it really does! Over the weekend, Tim wasn’t feeling so hot AND we had his mother in town visiting. Sunday evening, it was chilly out, Tim was resting, and I wanted to make something cozy for all of us to enjoy while we watched a movie. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love soups. I love to make soups, especially in my cast iron dutch oven. I wanted a nice hearty soup with warm fall flavors and this is what we ended up with!

It did the trick! We were warm, full, and happy. Tim got a little soup therapy, and I got the thumbs up from his mom so I’d call it a success! I know it’s Thanksgiving this week and there will be plenty of chow making the rounds, but if you need something quick and you’re tired of turkey, this can be on the table in under an hour. Enjoy guys!

Also, Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone gets some quality family time in this week. Tim and I are grateful to have all of you in our lives! XO

*Take note on the spice blend – I did not have Old Bay seasoning on hand, but I made an awesome mix on my own that I actually like better. Easy route, go Old Bay, but if you don’t mind spending another minute or two to mix it up, the alternate is awesome.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage (turkey works as well – heck! Maybe you shred up the leftover turkeyfrom Thanksgiving!)
  • 6 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 large (about 1 pound) sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 Bay Leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning – see below for alternate mix
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 large handfuls of kale, roughly chopped with thick stems removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

Alternate to Old Bay

  • 1 Tbsp celery salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg-fresh ground if possible
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well!

INSTRUCTIONS

**I really cannot tell you how worth it an enameled cast iron dutch oven is guys.. I use it for everything! This is the one I have, but Cuisinart, Martha Stewart, and so many others make very similar ones. Such a solid investment!

  1. Heat (an extra) 1 tablespoon butter in a large stockpot (or dutch oven)  over medium-high heat. Add in the meat and cook, stirring occasionally until browned.
  2. Add onion and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.  Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
  3. Add in the stock, wild rice, mushrooms, carrots, celery, sweet potato, bay leaves and seasoning.  Stir to combine.
  4. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Meanwhile, during those final 10 minutes, prepare your cream sauce in a separate saucepan on the stove.  In it, cook the butter over medium-high heat until melted.  Whisk in the flour (add gradually) until combined, and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly add in the milk, and whisk until combined.  Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture nearly comes to a simmer and has thickened.  (It should be very thick.)
  6. Add the cream sauce and kale to the soup, and stir gently until combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper (plus any extra seasoning, if you would like) as needed.
  7. Serve warm.  Or transfer to sealed container(s) and refrigerate.
I’m a firm believer in corn bread, so that’s what we had with this soup. On that note, I just used a little box of Jiffy, but I always add about 1/2 cup of frozen corn. This time though, I used unsweetened coconut milk instead of regular milk and I don’t think I’ll ever go back. It was awesome!

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