January 15, 2011

Sausage and Greens Soup

Sausage and Greens Soup
I started making this variation on quick sausage soup last fall. I think it is best with turnip greens but kale, collards, Chinese cabbage and even radish tops all work well.  The key is freshly crushed anise seed that you toast in the fat rendered from the sausage.
Makes 4-6 servings

1 to 1 1/2 pounds pork sausage, I use the links from Gallagher's Centennial Farm
2 teaspoons crushed anise seed
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 bunches (~1/2 pound) greens, chopped
2 quarts vegetable stock (or water and two vegetable bouillon cubes)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

-Heat up a medium soup pot.
-Use a clean pair of kitchen scissors and snip the sausage into 1/2 inch slices directly into the hot pot.  Brown the sausage well.
-Add the anise seed and a few grinds of black pepper, I crush whole seeds in a mortar and pestle right before using. Stir to toast until the anise is fragrant.
-Add the crumbled sage, onion, celery and a good pinch of salt.  Cook until the vegetables have softened.
-Add the greens and stir until they wilt down some.
-Add the stock or water and bouillon and bring to a simmer.  Before you walk away taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.  
-Simmer 30-45 minutes and serve.