Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Contemporary Kitchen - Cheesy Smoked Sausage & Vegetable Soup

This recipe is completely my own. Long story made short, My niece was heading overseas and sent me the contents of her refrigerator vegetable drawer.  I had no idea what to do with all of those vegetables! Vegetables, mind you, that I had never or rarely used before.  A head of cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, parsnips. OK, broccoli and cauliflower I could handle, but the rest had my head spinning.  I had made cabbage soup very early in my married life (remember hubby doesn't eat soup, or stew or anything of that sort), so I decided to just make some vegetable stock with most of it and make some California blend soup out of the rest... I had grown up with mom's California blend soup, granted I didn't have her recipe, but it seemed like something that I could do without a recipe.  So, I threw most of the veggies in the pot to make stock.   I had never even tasted turnips and parsnips before so I sampled a bit as I diced them.  I loved the parsnips, the turnips were just OK.  So then, using the completed stock as a base, I started on the soup.  As it was nearing completion, I said to myself, what is Hubby going to eat for dinner tonight, he won't eat this... What goes with cheese? Smoked Sausage (which I always have plenty of on hand). It smelled so good as it was cooking that I decided to add some to the soup for the rest of us, leaving Hubby's out so he could eat it separately.  At one point he walked by, said it smelled good and that he would eat the soup, so I tossed the rest of the sausage in.   Needless to say, it was such a hit that Hubby at two...yes, TWO bowls of soup! I was floored! Having just thrown things in the pot, I attempted to recreate it a few months later, so I could write the recipe down, I also played with the technique and which I will discuss in the directions.   So, without further ado, here is the recipe.

I usually have just about everything for this recipe in my pantry or freezer.

Saute onion, celery, carrot and parsnip in a large pot or dutch oven until it starts to become tender.  Just an aside, I keep a lot of veggies in my freezer, for example, if I dice 1/2 an onion for hot dogs, or slice 1/2 an onion for burgers, I dice or slice or chunk up the rest, measure it and vacuum seal it, label it and throw it in the freezer for future use, mostly in soups, although the onions I do saute for just about everything. Same for carrots an celery.

Add the stock and simmer.  Add salt, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary.  Simmer 10 minutes.

Add the Broccoli (and Cauliflower if desired).

Cut the smoked sausage into bite sized pieces and saute in a frying pan.  You really do need to fry the sausage first. The second time I made this I tried  just tossing the sausage in the soup without frying it first and the flavor just wasn't there, the flavor seemed to boil right out of the meat. When browned, remove to paper towel to drain.

When the vegetables are tender, Add the Velveeta (remember, this recipe uses 1 lb of Velveeta, which is 1/2 of the loaf).  Dice it into large chunks and toss it in, stir frequently to help it melt.

 Once the cheese is melted, add sausage and allow to simmer for 10 minutes for the flavors to meld. Remove the bay leaves and serve.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Please be sure to comment and let me know what you think and/or if you try it!

Love and God's peace to you,

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