Cabbage and Smoked Sausage Soup

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On damp, wintry days, a pot of hearty soup bubbling on the stove sends out an invitation – “come to the table and warm your heart as well as your tummy!”   When I ladled this fragrant, brothy German style cabbage soup into our red pottery bowls, I smiled in anticipation today. Along with Joe’s contribution of a skillet of cornbread, it was perfect for the middle of a day that had not been an easy one, so it was indeed comfort food.  There are variations of this recipe in many cookbooks and online, proving this combination of foods invites variation and is very forgiving. One recipe I found included the addition of one can of condensed cream of celery soup which I found interesting and wanted to try, but true to form, I changed the soup to cream of chicken because that was in the pantry.  Here is my version.  It is delicious and makes enough for alot of people or several meals!

Cabbage and Smoked Sausage Soup

3 -4 strips thick sliced bacon, cut into small pieces

1 onion, chopped

4-5 carrots, peeled and sliced

3 celery stalks, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces

5 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 smoked sausage ring or up to 1 pound links ( I used HEB’s Cranberry Pork link sausages)

6 cups chicken broth

1 can or carton cream of chicken soup

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper (or less if you prefer, we like pepper!)

1 teaspoon dried thyme

In large soup pot, cook bacon pieces until they begin to brown and release fat.  Add onion, saute 2-3 minutes, then add carrots, celery, sausage, and potaotes.  Add salt, pepper, and thyme, then stir in chicken broth. Bring to simmer and cook covered for about 30 minutes, until potatoes and carrots are tender. Add cream of chicken soup and stir. Continue heating 2 minutes, then turn off heat.  Stir, and ladle into bowls.

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