As promised, today’s post is about soup.
The last post was about something that rhymes with soup. But we’re done with that topic. Moving on.
Today, I decided to make a pot of the heartiest, earthiest, warmest soup I could think of, because apparently all those years living in the South has made me wimpy and, with the temperature dipping below 50, I am cold.
Not cool. Cold. As in we fired up the furnace today. My inner Midwesterner is soooo embarrassed.
But here we are, furnace blazing and a pot full of soul-warming goodness that I just have to share.
My husband found this recipe in the Crave restaurant guide that arrived with our Columbus Dispatch yesterday. It was featured in an ad from Great Lakes Brewing Company, and of course it calls for a bottle of Great Lakes beer because it’s an ad and it’s intend to sell beer.
It worked, so well played GLB ad company, well played indeed.
And what’s better than a beer soup on an NFL Sunday, I asked myself.
Nothing’s better, I answered myself.
That’s where I’m going to leave it because the rest of my inner head conversation isn’t noteworthy.
Any hoo, I simply CANNOT follow a recipe verbatim. I wanted to make this recipe lighter in calories but still rich in flavor, so I left out the cream and added in mushrooms, and I subbed out the sausage for lean, organic ground beef that I seasoned myself.
So what I will post here is the recipe as it was intended with my substitutions in parentheses.
The soup, by the way, is wonderful. But what’s great about soup is that it’s nearly impossible to mess it up. You can substitute, you can omit, you can add, whatever. As long as you find the consistency and flavor you like, you have some good food on the table — and even better leftovers in the fridge.
Soup, like wine, gets better with age.
Oktoberfest Sausage Soup:
- 1 potato, cubed (I used one russet and I roasted the cubes because I just think roasting adds flavor and makes for a better texture)
- 1/8 cup celery
- 1/8 cup onion (I used more like a half cup because we like onion)
- 2 cups of cremini and shiitake mushrooms (not called for in the recipe but I’ll add ‘shrooms to damn near anything savory)
- 1/2 cup beef broth (I used 2 cups because that’s used a whole can so I didn’t have to store leftover broth)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (see the note above and repeat)
- 1 bottle Great Lakes Brewing Oktoberfest beer
- 8 cups water (I used four since I doubled the amount of broth)
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp water (for thickening; I omitted this because we prefer more of a brothy soup)
- 1/4 lb. German sausage (for less fat and calories, I used a full pound of 90/10 Simple Truth organic beef and seasoned it with smoked paprika, roasted garlic powder, cumin, black pepper and leaf oregano)
- 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (we used less and as a topping)
- 1 cup half & half (totally omitted to save fat and calories)
- 1/4 Tbsp. ground white pepper (I used black pepper when I seasoned the meat)
- chopped green onion for garnish
I sauteed the veggies while the potato roasted in the oven. I added the broth, water and beer to the slow cooker to get it warm and set the timer for 5 1/2 hours.
I added the meat and seasoning to the skillet of veggies and cooked until brown. Once the meat was cooked through, I tossed it and the roasted potato into the slow cooker.
The soup was ready in about two hours, but the flavor gets richer the longer it steeps in the slow cooker.
As far as toppings, you can go crazy with this one.
Black-bean-corn salsa? Hell ya.
Cilantro for a little bright flavor? Go for it.
Bacon bits? Damn right.
When it comes to soup, you be you. Stay warm and thirsty my friends.