From the title of yesterday’s post, perhaps you were expecting a recipe. Lucky for that chicken… you got a story instead. Today is recipe day, however with due respect for that hen, I just can’t give you a chicken recipe.
With times as financially tight and trying as they are for so many of us, and the pantry as empty as it seems to remain this year, I’ve been cooking a lot of soups and casseroles. I find they both are good, hearty and healthy meals to serve an active family, and both are the best way I’ve found to make the more expensive ingredients go a longer way. They represent the best of cooking on a budget, without compromising on flavor, nutrition and diversity.
Last week, at Karen’s request, I shared a simple recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup. This week, I’d like to share another one of my family’s favorite soups: I call it Kev’s Kilbasa Soup because I got this one, more or less, from my brother, Kevin. It’s easy, tasty, rich, hearty, and a complete meal in a bowl… served with a chunk of warm rustic bread, of course. Best of all, I can make it with stuff I usually have on hand.
I hope you’ll try and enjoy.
Kev’s Kilbasa Soup
In a heavy dutch oven or soup pan, first heat for a couple of minutes until just smoking and aromatic:
1 teaspoon cumin
1 ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
Tap the spices into a small bowl and set aside. Then in that pan, melt:
2 tablespoons butter
Add, and sauté until soft:
1 onion, chopped (my brother uses leeks, and they are great, but I rarely have them)
4 cups chicken broth (canned, bouillon, homemade, whatever you have)
2 potatoes, diced
Cook, covered on medium heat, until the potatoes are soft, probably about ½ hour. Then add:
2 cups heavy cream, or a can of evaporated milk
1 pound kilbasa, sliced
The spices you heated earlier
Simmer this, covered, over medium/low heat for about 15 minutes. Then add and cook for another 5 minutes:
1 bag of spinach (fresh or frozen), or 3 cups chopped chard (I prefer this as the chard hold its own when cooked more so than spinach, plus we can grow it year round in our kitchen window)
That’s it! Serve hot with your bread, and you’ve got a wonderful, rich meal with out a great deal of time and money.