In the spirit of my focus on “Souping through January”, here’s a tasty recipe. This soup is rich with winter vegetables, seasoned sausage, and lovely orzo, all swirling around in a delicious fresh-made poultry broth. The aroma speaks to home and hearth, and there is nothing quite like a warm bowl of delicious soup, crusty artisan bread, and a Belgian beer enjoyed on a chilly January evening.
Sausage, Kale, and Orzo Soup
- ½ pound ground Sweet Italian Sausage or Chorizo, browned and drained
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled & chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled & minced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle
- 1 teaspoon ground celery seed
- 4 cups homemade poultry stock (see my Use What Ya Got Stock recipe via link)
- 2 cups filtered water
- ¾ cup uncooked orzo
- 4 cups kale, rinsed, coarsely chopped, & drained
- Fresh squeezed lemon juice, to taste
- Shredded Parmesan, Asiago, or Romano cheese
Toss carrots, onion, and garlic with the olive oil in a heavy soup pot or dutch oven, and cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Some light browning adds flavor, but watch closely so that garlic doesn’t burn. Stir in the browned and drained ground sausage. Stir in the salt, oregano, basil, crushed red pepper, chipotle, and celery seed. Continue to cook and stir for about a minute. Add the poultry stock, water, and orzo. Turn up the heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low/medium and cook, covered, at a strong simmer until the orzo is tender (about 10 to 12 minutes). Turn off the heat. Stir in the kale. Allow to sit, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.
Ladle in to bowls, top with the shredded cheese and fresh squeezed lemon juice, to taste. A thick slice of warm, crusty artisan bread is a nice accompaniment! And if you have a favorite Belgian style beer, it will pair nicely. Enjoy!
Makes 6 to 8 servings.