leek, kale, sausage and grains soup

that’s a long name for a soup, but so far i haven’t thought of anything else to call it.

earlier this week my nanny family gave us a package of mozzarella and tomato chicken sausages that they weren’t going to use. suhweet! a treat for us since we don’t buy much meat. i’ve been wanting to make a hearty sausage soup with our whole grains but hadn’t bit the bullet and bought the meat. sausage for free? even better.

i’ve paged through a lot of whole grain cookbooks lately and while there are tasty sounding recipes, they often require odd or expensive ingredients. one common ingredient i was noticing was leeks. i’ve never cooked with or eaten leeks. so i bought a few leeks with the intention of using them in a soup. after the sausage donation i decided it was time to create a leek and sausage soup.

i rarely follow recipes for soup and since i was feeling adventuresome, i created this soup from scratch. it was fun to consider what flavors may go well together and while it’s always a risk to cook something with no base recipe, it’s often fun. and thankfully this soup turned out well! i made note of what i put in it just in case it was worth recording.

we had a few rustic flax seed rolls left. a hearty and healthy dinner on this chilly evening.

we had a few rustic flax seed rolls left. a hearty and healthy dinner on this chilly evening.

Leek, Kale, Sausage and Grains Soup by LifeisLekker

3 leeks (washed, cut in half, and sliced until the dark green leaves)

5 cloves garlic, minced

4 savory sausage links, sliced in 1/4 inch pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

2 cups vegetable broth (i prefer low sodium, or you can make your own!)

1 280z can diced fire roasted tomatoes, juices included

3 green kale leafs

2 cups wild rice, cooked*

1 cup black lentils, cooked*

Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a cast iron pan. Cut the leeks in half and wash thoroughly. Slice thinly, up to the dark green part of the leek. Sauté leeks in the olive oil for 4-5 minutes, until tender. Add sliced sausages and saute for 10 minutes more. Add the minced garlic, salt, and pepper; cook 2-3 more minutes. Set aside.

Heat the vegetable broth and diced tomatoes (juice included) on medium heat in a large soup pot. De-stem kale and cut into 1 inch pieces. Once the liquids have reached a boil, add kale and simmer for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the celery salt and add wild rice, black lentils and sausage/leek mixture. Simmer for 15 minutes, allowing the flavors to thoroughly mix. Enjoy as is or with fresh parmesan.

*note: i often cook whole grains in bulk on the weekend so i can use them throughout the week without taking the time to soak and cook them each night. you could probably add 3 more cups of vegetable broth, half the cooked amounts of whole grains, and cook them in the broth for 45 minutes or until tender. then add the tomatoes and follow the rest of the recipe instructions.

slicing the leeks after they have been washed

slice the leeks after they have been washed

saute the leeks in olive oil

saute the leeks in olive oil

mozzarella and tomato sausages (from costco). any savory sausage link would work fine, but the tomato really compliments the rest of the soup

mozzarella and tomato sausages (from costco). any savory sausage link would work fine, but the tomato really compliments the rest of the soup

add the sausage to the sautéing leeks

add the sausage and saute for 10 minutes. then add garlic, salt and pepper; saute 3 more minutes. set aside.

de-stem the kale and cut in to 1 inch pieces. heat the broth and tomatoes on medium heat, until it boils

de-stem the kale and cut in to 1 inch pieces. heat the broth and tomatoes on medium heat, until it boils. add celery salt.

steam the kale in the liquids for about 5 minutes (lid on). turn the heat down to medium low. add sausage/leek mixture and simmer for 15 minutes

steam the kale in the liquids for about 5 minutes (lid on). turn the heat down to medium low. add sausage/leek mixture and simmer for 15 minutes

leek, sausage, kale and grains soup

leek, sausage, kale and grains soup

got a favorite leek recipe? please share!

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