When 4 Stars Just Aren't Enough
Potato Leek Sausage Soup – Country Style
This weekend I got to play with my new grinder attachment for the KitchenAid mixer. I just happened to have some pork roast that was dying to be turned into sausage. I ground up a bunch of pork adding all kinds of herbs, paprika, and salt.
With this sausage in hand and some fresh leeks, I was tempted to alter one of the recipes you may have seen on this site for potato leek soup. I added sausage to the recipe and made it country style. For me, country style means setting aside ½ the potatoes and ½ the sausage and adding them at the end. Note: in the prior recipe we pureed the soup with a immersion blender (boat motor).
Leeks are one of my favorite ingredients to work with, and when you include them in a soup, the house aroma is wonderful for several hours.
At any rate, lets get to cooking; this recipe uses a bouquet garni with the leafs of the leek, with peppercorns, bay leaves, and thyme wrapped inside. My son thought it was cool that I had twine tied to the edges of the stockpot with something wrapped on the end. He thought it was like fishing .
There are many recipes floating about the Internet claiming to be the recipe used by Olive Garden in the Toscana soup. This weekend, I found a few of them, compared notes, made some modifications, and came up with a winner. It is not exact, but close. Besides we are not going for exact we are going for 5 Star, and this one is a winner.
The credit for this recipe goes to those people on the Internet that posted their version of the soup.
A couple notes before we get started. In my soup I used kale. To prepare the kale, cut the green leaves away from the main stem (don’t use the main stem). Then cut each leaf in half and then roll up each leaf and slice thin. You are making thin stripes of kale.
Here is a recipe I put together last night that puts chicken strips into a pita bread to serve as a starter. I really wanted to incorporate smoked gouda because I can’t get enough of it.
I kept with the classic poultry mix of herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary) and utilized shallots and garlic to give it a little boost.
In this starter, you brown the chicken about two-thirds of the way done, set it side, brown the shallots and garlic, deglaze with white wine, and finish the chicken in the same pan. Then at the end you put the pesto mix (cheese, herbs, and olive oil) in the pan and toss.
This weekend my family, and neighbors, got a treat from my kitchen. I executed a Chef Gordon Ramsay mushroom risotto. If you have been watching this years Hell’s Kitchen, you will know that a risotto is on almost every menu. And, people have a hard time preparing the risotto the way Chef would like. Read the rest of this entry »
Okay this one really couldn’t be easier. All of four ingredients. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »