Archive for October 12th, 2007

October 12, 2007

A few weeks ago my friends and I went to lunch for a birthday celebration for one of my knitting buddies. We had a delightful lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, a small, intimate wonderfully decorated spot with a relatively small menu of great, homemade dishes.

I was intrigued by their soup of the day, Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup, flavored with chorizo sausage, originally a Spanish creation, now common in the United States, thanks to the influence of our Mexican heritage citizens. It can be prepared as a fresh sausage or a fermented cured smoked sausage. It’s degree of spiciness, from dried smoked red peppers, varies according to the whims of the producers.

A favorite Mexican breakfast is chorizo con huevos, eggs scrambled in crumbled and cooked chorizo. It is often used to enhance stews and soups, as it was in the soup recipe I enjoyed. I enjoyed it so much that as soon as I had a chance later that same day, I did a quick search on the internet and, much to my surprise, found an identical recipe from the October 2007 Bon Appetit magazine. Obviously, the chef had been inspired by this recipe, and to my good fortune, he prepared it the day I was there to sample it.

I saved the recipe and last weekend I prepared it for lunch with grilled cheese sandwiches. It was a definite hit with me, my husband and the one daughter who was here to try it. The original recipe calls for either Portugese linguica or chorizo. I was able to find the chorizo easily so I used that. I prepared the recipe exactly as written, no substitutions or “tweaking”.

Here is the recipe, thanks to the online treasure, Epicurious, recently redesigned.

Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup
Bon Appétit | October 2007

This hearty soup gets rich flavor from linguiça, a delicious pork sausage from Portugal seasoned with garlic, paprika, and other spices. Spanish chorizo sausage is a great substitute.

Makes 8 servings

Jean Anderson

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 10- to 11-ounce fully cooked smoked Portuguese linguiça sausage or chorizo sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 medium onions, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams; about 2 large), peeled, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 pound white-skinned potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
6 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 9-ounce bag fresh spinach

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook until brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to paper towels to drain. Add onions and garlic to pot and cook until translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add all potatoes and cook until beginning to soften, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Add broth; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Using potato masher, mash some of potatoes in pot. Add browned sausage to soup. Stir in spinach and simmer just until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and serve.

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