Rustic Potato Leek Soup with Sausage and Kale

Sausage, potatoes and greens are a classic soup combo that I have made a bunch of different ways. For the sausage I’ve used linguica, Spanish chorizo, andouille, kielbasa. Potatoes could be white beans, barley, rice, quinoa. In place of kale: spinach, collard greens, broccoli leaves. (On a side note, if you ever have a chance to get some broccoli leaves, do it! We were ordering them in our Imperfect Produce box for a while and braising them like other hearty greens — really yummy. I’ve never seen them in stores.)

For this soup I wanted to use some of the flavors of potato leek soup but make it chunkier and brothier, like a stew. If you’re not a fan of kale, you can sub in spinach — add it after the potatoes are cooked and simmer for a minute or so just to cook it lightly.

Whether you opt for kale or spinach, it’s helpful to use an oversized pot, so that there’s plenty of room to accommodate the greens before they wilt and become more manageable. I used a 6 3/4-quart Le Crueset dutch oven, my go-to pot for making soup and cooking greens.

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 lb bulk italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
2 leeks, chopped (white and light green portion only)
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs mixed potatoes, partially peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes (I used russet and red potatoes)
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 bay leaf
10 oz kale (about 2 bunches), stemmed and chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper

In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, breaking it up into bite-sized crumbles, until it’s browned through. Add onions, leeks and celery and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute more.

Add potatoes, chicken broth, wine, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then stir in kale. Bring to a boil again, then turn down the heat, cover and simmer until the potatoes are cooked and the kale is tender, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the cream and heat to warm through, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pictured: Pyrex Butterfly Gold 402 Round Mixing Bowl; Pyrex Spring Blossom 402 Round Mixing Bowl, Pyrex Spring Blossom 401 Round Mixing Bowl

Easy 3-Bean Turkey Chili with Chipotle

Chipotle peppers have been my “secret” ingredient in chili for years — I love the spicy, smoky flavor they bring to the dish. Lately I’ve been using them in their powdered form,  but you can also use the canned version with equal success. Throw in a little of the adobo sauce they come in, too.

My other favorite chili technique is using a variety of beans. Kidney beans for their traditional chili flavor, black beans for contrast and garbanzos for something unexpected. Cannellini beans and navy beans also work well.

The spice level here is mild-to-medium. You can pep it up by using a hot chili powder blend, adding more chipotle powder and/or adding red pepper flakes.

Note: Masa harina is a nixtamalized corn flour used to make corn tortillas, typically found in the Mexican/international aisle of the grocery store. In this recipe I’m using it as a thickening agent, so you can do without just fine, but it also adds a subtle earthy flavor that is delicious! If you don’t have masa in your pantry, I recommend seeking it out — then use it to make your own tortillas. Homemade corn tortillas are really tasty and oh so easy — The Kitchn has a nice tutorial here.

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
2 14 1/2-oz cans diced tomatoes
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 15-oz can red kidney beans
1 15-oz can black beans
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans
2 tbsp mild chili powder
1 tbsp ground red chipotle
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp masa harina (optional)

Optional toppings:
shredded cheddar cheese
chopped green onion
sour cream

In a large pot (at least 5 quarts) over medium heat, saute onions in the olive oil until they start to go translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 1 minute. Then add the turkey and cook, breaking it up into bite size crumbles, until it’s browned through, about 7 minutes.

Add the diced tomatoes (undrained), tomato sauce, beans (drained and rinsed), chili powder, chipotle and oregano, stir thoroughly and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the masa and simmer, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.

Pictured: Corning Ware Spice O’ Life A-5-B Saucepot; Corning Ware P-150-B Grab-It Bowl; Pyrex Spring Blossom 401 Round Mixing Bowl

Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken with Fennel, Orange and Rosemary

This recipe was inspired by an old friend, who first introduced me to roasted fennel years ago while working on a recipe for a magazine assignment. That recipe seems to have dropped off the face of the internet, so instead, my starting point was The Kitchn’s Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel & Lemon.

For a vegetarian version, try tossing the roasted veggies with cannellini beans (one can, drained and rinsed).

Serves 4

Ingredients

4-6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
zest and juice of 1 large orange
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 small fennel bulbs, sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
2 carrots, cut on the diagonal in 1/2-inch slices
1 red onion, sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
black pepper

In a medium bowl, mix orange zest and juice, olive oil, vinegar, rosemary, garlic and salt. Add chicken, then cover and refrigerate for a few hours (30 minutes minimum).

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine fennel, carrots, onion and chicken mixture. Toss to coat veggies in the marinade.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken pieces and veggies to an oiled sheet pan in an even layer. Season with fresh-ground pepper.

Roast until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees, about 40-45 minutes. Veggies should be tender and brown on the edges.

Pictured: Pyrex Holiday Casserole 024 Round Casserole; Pyrex Lime 909 Rimmed Pie Plate;  Pyrex Dessert Dawn Yellow 209 Rimmed Pie Plate

 

Sauteed Kohlrabi and Spinach

This was my first time trying kohlrabi — I ordered some from Imperfect Produce this week just for fun. Turns out my whole family really liked it (even my 5-year-old)! Kohlrabi tastes a lot like broccoli stems, only a little sweeter; in fact, you could easily sub in broccoli stems for this recipe if kohlrabi is not available or not your thing.

Whenever I’m cooking something new, I search for recipes online (usually Pinterest, Epicurious and Food Network) to get a handle on the basics. Here my starting point was Martha Stewart’s Sauteed Kohlrabi with Onions and Cream.

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 lbs kohlrabi, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes (note: if your kohlrabi has leaves attached, chop those up and add with the spinach)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 5-oz bag fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt
pepper

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add kohlrabi and onion and saute until onion starts to go translucent and kohlrabi is cooked but still crunchy, about 10 minutes.

Lower to medium heat, add garlic and cook another 1 minute. Stir in spinach one handful at a time and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add the cream and let simmer for a couple minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pictured: Corning Ware Blue Cornflower P-10-B Square Skillet; Pyrex Spring Blossom 2 403 Round Mixing Bowl

7 Great Resources on Vintage Pyrex

Corning Museum of Glass: Search the collection or the library for all sorts of models and patterns, even vintage advertisements.

The Pyrex Collector: Lots of information on Pyrex patterns, colors, model numbers, cleaning tips and more.

Hot for Pyrex: Pattern library for rare or hard-to-find pieces as well as international variants.

That Retro Piece: Info on Pyrex from the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

Pyrex Love: Another good pattern reference, plus cleaning tips and other useful info.

Pyrex Passion: Pattern reference plus some interesting information on specific models and Pyrex history.

Other collectors! Join a Pyrex Facebook group and you will be blown away by the collective knowledge of your fellow enthusiasts. Be mindful of group rules (such as no selling) and dig into resources like photo albums and shared files. Also, a group search can often produce the information you’re looking for.

Pictured: Pyrex Spring Blossom 045 Oval Casserole

No-Fuss Deviled Eggs with Pickled Celery

I’ve always been sort of intimidated by making deviled eggs — peeling eggs without making a mess of them, getting the yolk out, then spooning it back in (or, God forbid, piping it in) — it all just sounds like too much work. Then I came across a revelation: Why not just cut the eggs in half and top them with deviled egg ingredients, no mixing required! I wish I could remember where I read about that idea, but let’s face it, my memory is not what it used to be. Anyway, this has got to be the easiest deviled egg prep ever — no mixing, no measuring, no piping. It easily tastes as good as regular deviled eggs, just with a slightly different texture.

The pickled celery here comes from Smitten Kitchen’s Egg Salad with Pickled Celery and Coarse Dijon, which is really delicious. Pickled celery might be my new favorite thing.

Ingredients

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 stalks celery, diced
eggs (any number, within reason)
mayonnaise
mustard (any kind will do, I used whole-grain Dijon)
black pepper
paprika

Set your eggs out on the counter until they lose their refrigerator chill (about 30 minutes). This helps prevent them from cracking when you first drop them into boiling water.

Combine the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a bowl and whisk until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Add celery, cover and put in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Place a pot of water (enough to cover your eggs) on the stove on high heat until it reaches a boil. Lower to medium-low heat, then use a slotted spoon to gently drop the eggs into the pot. Cook at a very low simmer (barely bubbling) for 11 minutes. On my stove, this results in yolks that are cooked through but still moist, not chalky. But you may need to experiment with different cooking times to attain the hard-boiled style you prefer. Epicurious has a good tutorial here.

Plunge the eggs into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking and chill for about 15 minutes.

Peel the eggs and slice in half with a sharp knife. Top each half with a little mayonnaise and mustard — keep in mind that most deviled egg recipes use a mayo-to-mustard ratio of about 12:1, so dollop accordingly. Spoon on pickled celery (there will be plenty leftover — save it to use in egg salad, potato salad, tuna salad, as a burger topping, etc.). Sprinkle with fresh-ground black pepper and paprika. If you want more of a kick, sub in cayenne, chipotle powder, chili powder, creole seasoning or anything else that sounds good!

Thrifted Kitchen note: I love using small vintage Pyrex bowls as prep containers. Pictured: Pyrex Homestead 401 Round Mixing Bowl