Spring is almost, almost, almost here. Folks all over the place are visiting their local gardening supply centers, deep discount stores piled up mulch and compost outside their doors, and weather is dig-in-the-dirt friendly more days than it’s not. Don’t know about you, but I have already caught the gardening bug and got started on some of the early spring garden activities, you know, fertilizing, pruning, mulching, sowing early vegetables…
But, you know, just because it’s marginally warmer now, doesn’t mean we can’t spare a few minutes to make a nice almost springy soup. Almost springy because it has some elements of winter heartiness, and at the same time it features perfectly springy vegetables. It’s also not creamy. Nope, let’s save creamy soups for colder days. Today I feel like clear broth with colorful vegetables and some meaty bits for heartiness. Still pleasant on a chilly evening with the windows opened just a crack, so that we can smell that spring-like air, if you know what I mean. In other words, this soup perfectly matches that spring is just around the corner feeling…
I have to point out that I did use rutabaga root here in place of potatoes, simply because I am trying to reduce carbs (as part of the spring around the corner festivities). But it’s not really necessary if you are not in the mood for carb-watching. Potatoes will do just nicely.
Almost Springy Sausage, Spinach & ‘Sparagus Soup
- 2 tbsp cooking fat (I used tallow, butter will do nicely)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 rutabaga root, diced (if using potatoes, go with 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, slivered
- 1 bay leaf
- 4-6 italian sausages, cut in large chunks
- salt, fresh ground pepper
- 6-8 cups chicken stock
- 1 lbs asparagus, woody portions of stems removed, cut into 1″ chunks
- 1 packed cup of baby spinach or equivalent amount of large spinach leaves
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Bring stock to a boil
- While stock is warming up, heat the cooking fat over medium heat in a soup pot or a Dutch oven
- Toss in celery, carrots, onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until onions are fragrant and translucent.
- Add sausage, stir and cook until it’s no longer pink, giving it a stir once in a while
- Add boiling stock to the pot
- Toss in rutabaga (potatoes), bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add asparagus, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until rutabaga is fully cooked through.
- Add lemon juice and spinach. Cook for a few more minutes, until spinach is all wilted.