Friday, February 17, 2012

Kale, mushroom, and sausage stew.

Inspired by the kale, as my dinners often are :)  I wasn't sure what to call this.  Soup?  Stew?  Stuff in a pan?  It's pretty particle heavy, though, and contains meat, so stew.  Went with stew.


*2 cartons of chicken broth (I actually have no idea what the size is and I forgot to write it down, but they are the standard size cartons.)
*Half a medium white onion, chopped
*One bunch of scallions, chopped
*One package of baby bella mushrooms, tops chopped in half
*Generous handful of baby carrots, chopped (carrots almost didn't make the cut, but I'm glad they did.  Plus, it adds some color to an otherwise bland color palette!)
*One package (5) chicken apple sausages, chopped (You can use any sausage here, doesn't have to be chicken.  I just like them better.)
*Large bunch of kale, roughly chopped or torn (kale usually gets turned into kale chips immediately here, but this bunch was somehow left to wilt in the fridge for a few days, so it met a new and different fate!)
*4 garlic cloves, chopped
*Grain/rice of choice, if desired.  I ended up using barley, but forgot to put it in for the picture :)
*salt, pepper to taste

How to do it:

1.  Pour broth into large pan.
2.  Add all of your ingredients, except the grain.  Seriously, that's all I did,  I think it might be tasty to cook the onions and garlic first, but I'm trying not to use oil or butter while cooking so I didn't!  The kale might look like a lot at first, but it wil cook down so quickly.
3.  Cook on high heat until all ingredients have cooked down (about 15 minutes), then turn down to simmer and let your soup have a party.  I let mine simmer for about 4 hours.  It was soooo delicious, and our house smelled amazing.  I didn't even stir it that many times.
4.  About 20 minutes before you are ready to serve, add grain/rice, and re-cover.  You don't want it to get mushy in there, so adding it closer to the end helps it stay firm.  Sometimes I actually cook the rice or grains separately and add them when serving, but for this soup I really wanted the barley to soak up the flavors.

Kale, immediately after being added.  A giant pile of kale.  A few pictures down you can see what it looked like just a few minutes later.

Yum.  Thanks, Trader Joe's.But seriously, is there a good way to open a package of sausage?  I won't show you how I mauled this.


Carrots, with some perspective so you know how big of a pile it is.  About 10 baby carrots.  And yes, I cut carrots with that knife not meant for cutting carrots. 

Soup, cooking on high, about 4 minutes after adding kale.  The treat bags to the right have nothing to do with the soup.  I just need to clean up my counters after this busy week!

Don't the carrots make it look pretty?

With barley, about 4 hours later.

Served with heart shaped cornbread, it was SO good.  I love soup.  Have I said that before?

How did I get this done during naptime?  Because of this:

And more of that upstairs in Raina's room.  Yay naps!

And for your viewing pleasure, a cute bum.  Not many bums look that cute in pink velour leggings!

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