Saturday, November 19, 2011

recipe exchanges

I love recipe exchanges. You never know where the recipes are going to come from - they're always vastly different from my own cooking style, and provide great inspiration for the kitchen. I received the initial email from my friend Rebecca, and this was the recipe I thought to send off. I posted it a couple years ago, but it's such a good standby soup that I thought I'd repost it for your enjoyment and delight. And, as the recipes come in from the exchange (I'm supposed to get 36!), I'll see about posting some of those here to share with you as well. Enjoy! 

Leeky Dill Italian Sausage Soup

1 package (about 5 large sausages) of hot italian sausage, removed from casings
2-3 medium leeks, cleaned and diced (white and light green parts only)
2 large russet potatoes (scrubbed and peeled)
1 large can diced tomatoes
water or vegetable broth
1 bunch of fresh dill (fresh is best!)
salt and pepper

In a large cast-iron skillet, sauté the sausage meat until browned and cooked through. Break up any large chunks of meat. Drain off the fat, reserving it in a bowl to use for caramelizing the leeks. Move the sausage to a large stock pot. In the skillet again, use about a tablespoon of the sausage fat to caramelize the leeks. They should be just browned on the edges and still a vibrant green. Put that into the stock pot with the sausage. Add the potatoes, roughly chopped, to the stockpot, along with the can of diced tomatoes. Add enough water or vegetable broth to cover all the ingredients, and bring it to a boil. (At this point you could even warm the water/veggie broth in the skillet, and scrape up any caramelized goodness and pour that into your stockpot as well.) Simmer until the potatoes are tender.

10 minutes before serving, remove any stalks from the fresh dill and roughly chop it, so there are no large "bunches" of dill, just small sprigs. Stir that into the soup and let the dill flavor become vibrant. Season to taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and lots of crusty bread.