Inspiration can find you anywhere. This time for us it was in the checkout line at a grocery store in Connecticut on the cover of a food magazine. They were featuring a cheesy potato, kale and sausage soup that looked pretty amazing and since it was winter and we were craving comfort food, we decided to grab everything to recreate a vegan version.
Our version makes use of Tofurky’s Kielbasa sausages. While it doesn’t really remind me of traditional Kielbasa, it does fit the bill when looking for something ‘meaty’ and worked nicely in this combination. The trick is to brown it up well in a little oil and add it at the end of cooking. Most vegan sausages lose a lot of their firm texture when simmered, so keep it out of the broth until just before serving.
Beer makes everything better! The addition of a bottle in this soup adds a nice background flavour, without overpowering the soup. Go for something mild (a blond or a lager, even light or non-alcoholic beers would work too!) – save your tasty IPAs or sours for drinking!
A little flavour kick, top this with some fresh green onion and vegan cheddar as a garnish (We just discovered the GoVeggie cheddar shreds and are really liking their flavour).
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- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 Tofurky Kielbasa sausages, sliced into ¼ - inch thick rounds
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium ribs celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 12oz/340ml bottle of beer (nothing too hoppy)
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- ½ teaspoon dry thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon dry sage leaves
- 1 large potato (12oz/340g), peeled and chopped
- 1 large handful chopped kale, about 1 cup
- ½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
- Heat half the oil in a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the sausage and cook until well browned. Remove to a plate.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan. Saute the onions until tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute to lightly toast the flour.
- Stir in the beer, vegetable stock, thyme, sage, and potatoes. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for about 8 minutes. Add the kale and simmer until the potatoes are cooked, about 8-10 minutes more.
- Stir in the browned sausages and the non-dairy milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Just before serving, stir in chopped parsley and green onion.
- Make ahead tip: Prepare the soup up to the point where the potatoes are cooked. Cool the soup and store in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat the soup (you may need to add a bit of extra water or broth to return it to the same consistency), then add the sausages, non-dairy milk, parsley and green onions