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Sausage Bean Soup

1/4 lb Sausage (I use a fine grind kielbasa with extra garlic)
1 can black beans (12oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (18oz)
1/2 c celery (diced)
1/2 c carrots (diced)
3/4 c onions (diced)
2 potatoes (diced)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 c wine
1 tbsp hot chile relish
1 tsp sea salt
spices (black pepper, rosemary, thyme, and basil)


1. Dice vegetables and gather other ingredients.  Sausage should be chopped up as well; I tend to slice the sausage into 2-3″ links, quarter the links, and then slice the quarters into 1/4″ thick triangles.

2. Place the soup pot on medium heat, add the olive oil and let it heat up a bit.

3. Add the carrots, onions, and celery (this is the classic mirepoix base for cooking).  Add the salt as well to help the vegetables “sweat” a bit.  Stir and allow the vegetables to saute a for 3-4 minutes.

4. Add 1/2 c wine and cover. (The other 1/2 c of wine should be poured into the chef.)  Allow the vegetables to cook in the wines for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occassionally.

5. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, beans, and 1-2 cups of water.  Stir, cover, and allow to come to a simmering boil.  The main goal here is to cook the potatoes to an agreeable degree of softness.  The tomatoes and beans cook out a bit to help build the broth.

6. When the potatoes are the right consistency drop the heat to low (or med-low) and add the spices, relish, and sausage.  Allow the soup to then simmer for at least 45 minutes.

7. Serve.  The general results are a very chunky soup with an opaque and tasty broth.

Notes and alternatives:

A. Alternative “thickeners” to using the potatoes would be barley or cracked buckwheat.  Both will require additional liquid and different cooking time in Step 5 since they will cook differently than the potato.  (I usually cook the buckwheat separately in boiling water first and then add it.)  Both bring different flavors to the dish with the buckwheat in particular giving a nutty overtone.

B. No exact measurements used in the recipe.  It’s a lot of “this looks about right”.

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Sausage Soup

This recipe doesn’t use any of my products, though you can add the hot sauce to taste if you like. I came up with this years ago and it has always been a huge hit. A can’t miss on cold days.

1/2 lb Italian sausage
1/2 lb sage country sausage
1/2 lb smoked sausage
2 med carrots
2 stalks leeks
1 stalk celery
1 cup barley
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon oregano
12 cups chicken broth

Brown Italian and country sausages thoroughly. Drain and add smoked sausage, chicken broth, celery, carrots, basil, oregano and garlic. Cook for 20 minutes over med heat or until carrots are crisp tender. Add leeks and barley and bring heat to med high. Cook for 15-20 minutes til leeks are tender. Serve with sourdough or french bread.

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Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder

1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cups half & half
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
1 14 oz can creamed corn
1/2 cup chopped roasted green chiles
1/4 – 1 teaspoon Devil’s Breath Hot Sauce to taste
1 medium tomato, diced
tortilla chips

Brown chicken onion & garlic in butter til chicken is no longer pink. Add broth and cumin, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in half & half, cheese, corn, chiles and hot sauce. Cook & stir over low heat until cheese is melted. Add tomato and serve with tortilla chips.