As a toast to the fall season, this full-flavored, protein-rich soup will warm your spirits and satisfy the most hearty appetite on a chilly night.
For the Mushroom, Kale & Sausage Mixture:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound mild Italian sausage
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 cups diced onion
2 cups peeled and diced carrot
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoon salt
10 ounces kale, destemmed and thinly chopped (approximately 10 cups)
1 cups chicken stock
8 ounces (2½ cups) diced cremini mushrooms
8 ounces (2½ cups) diced shiitake mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter
For the Cream Soup:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¾ cup crumbled bleu cheese
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the Sourdough Toasts:
Rustic sourdough loaf, sliced
Herbes de Provence
Crumbled bleu cheese
Sprigs of fresh thyme
To Prepare the Mushroom, Kale & Sausage Mixture:
In a stockpot or Dutch oven set over medium heat, brown the sausage in the olive oil. Add the minced garlic, diced onion, diced carrot, red pepper flakes, Herbes de Provence, brown sugar, and salt. Sauté until the onions and carrots soften and begin to caramelize, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the chopped kale and 1 cup chicken stock. Cook until the liquid mostly evaporates and the kale wilts. Add the cremini and shiitake mushrooms and the butter to the mixture, and sauté to allow the mushrooms to render their juices and soften.
To Prepare the Cream Soup:
Melt pats of cream cheese into the mushroom-kale-sausage mixture until it incorporates smoothly without leaving lumps. Stir in the 3 cups chicken stock, heavy whipping cream, bleu cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and nutmeg. Heat until the cream begins to thicken, but not boil. Turn off the heat beneath the pot and allow the flavors to meld together. If you desire a thinner soup, add some water.
To Prepare the Sourdough Toasts:
Set the oven temperature to broil. Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Sprinkle each slice lightly with Herbes de Provence. Place the slices on a baking tray and broil until golden brown and lightly crisped. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with bleu cheese crumbles and fresh thyme.
Ladle the soup into individual oven-safe bowls, cassoulet dishes, or pots. Place a slice of bread atop each soup bowl or pan. Serve hot.
Makes 8 servings.
Recipe Created and Stylized by R. Shannon Mock
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