Friday, January 09, 2015

Porcine Perfection Per The Piggery

I bought a small jar of smoked pork rillettes at the co-op the other day from a place called The Piggery in Ithaca. When I went to their Facebook page, they had posted an idea for a soup made with winter squash, onions, potatoes, and kielbasa. That sound perfectly yummy, so I made my own way with it today in the crock pot. I added lacinato kale for color, texture, and extra nutrition. (Sidebar: Can you believe it's kale from the garden that I planted at my friend Janice's this year? It was picked in October. I adore a long keeper!)  Oh, and this is another gluten-free recipe, if that matters to you.

Crock Pot Squash, Potato, Kielbasa, and Kale Soup
(Source: inspired by an idea from The Piggery, Ithaca, NY)

1 box frozen winter squash puree, thawed
1 quart (up to six cups) pork stock--or use half beef and half chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons (up to a 1/4 cup) finely-chopped cooked bacon
4 medium to large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon paprika (swap out one teaspoon of smoked paprika if you like)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb. kielbasa, halved then sliced
2 cups chopped kale
1/2 cup cream, optional

Put the thawed squash and a quart of stock in the crock pot. In a skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the chopped onion until tender and translucent and just starting to take on color. Scrape the cooked onions into the crock pot. Add the bacon, the potato chunks, the paprika, and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about four hours on high or eight hours on low. (At this point, I strained out more than half of the potato pieces and took my stick blender to the soup to thicken it, then stirred the whole potato chunks back in.)

When the potatoes are done, brown the kielbasa pieces in the skillet, then add them and the chopped kale to the soup. You may wish to thin it with another cup or two of stock to a desired consistency. Finish by stirring in a little cream if you wish. Taste to correct seasoning. Serve piping hot.

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