Rustic Potato and Sausage Soup

Rustic Potato and Sausage Soup

The new year is upon us…

Many of us are thinking of eating healthier, and I’m a firm believer that eating well and eating foods you enjoy should go hand in hand. Rustic Potato and Sausage Soup is guilt-free comfort food that’s loaded with kale and vegetables.  It’s a homey soup that’s warming and hearty with a rich tomato laced chicken broth, tender baby potatoes, Italian sausage and vegetables. Paprika, garlic, and fresh herbs give added depth of flavour to this rustic, chunky soup. 

Healthy potatoes, rich in potassium and vitamin C add fibre with their skins and a rustic earthiness.  Tender kale, also rich in nutrients, gently clings to all it surrounds for a wonderful spoonful.  It’s the best of both worlds, being hearty and comforting while still being healthy, satisfying, and full of flavour.  So even if eating better is not on your resolution list this year, you’ll still want a big bowl of this satisfying soup.  Enjoy!

Author:  Compelled to Cook

Rustic Potato and Sausage Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Rustic Potato and Sausage Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 cups 20 minutes
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Over medium heat add 1 tbsp of olive to a large pot or dutch oven. Add sausage links and cook until golden and no longer pink, turning often about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove cooked sausage to a paper towel-lined dish to absorb any excess fat. To the same pot add remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic, sauté for 4-5 minutes until starting to soften and have sweat off some of their moisture.
  3. Pour in chicken broth and tomatoes crushed with your hands. Add potatoes, bay leaf, oregano, parsley, and both paprikas. Cover and simmer on low for about 10 minutes until potatoes are almost tender. While soup is cooking, chop kale and cooked sausage into bite-size pieces.
  4. Add kale and sausage to the pot and continue to cook partially covered for about 5 minutes until kale is cooked but still has some colour and bite. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with crusty bread if desired.

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I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes

Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes

Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes…oh my!

One of my quick and easy weeknight meals consists of broiled fish with a creamy caper paste.  It takes mere minutes to cook and is tender, moist and full of flavour.  I decided to use this same paste on smashed baby potatoes for an easy side dish that’s super delicious and pairs well with roasted meats and fish. 

Capers are the unripened flowers buds of Capparis spinosa or Capparis inermis and are generally dried and pickled.  Here’s a handy link from The Spruce Eats that tells you a little more about the amazing caper. 

You won’t be disappointed!

Roasted mini potatoes get a gentle smash and topped with a creamy caper paste made with capers, lemon, dill, mayonnaise, and parmesan cheese.  Crispy little potato disks with fluffy centres are the perfect base for the briny capers, fresh dill and creamy mayo.  

If you’re not familiar with capers, they’re a handy pantry item to have kicking around.  They’re pungent and briny and not all that good on their own, but combine them with cream, butter or lemon and you have a flavour explosion. They add a salty depth of flavour that enhances sauces, dressing, salads, and more. Enjoy!

Author: Compelled to Cook

Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    3-4 people 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    30-35 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    3-4 people 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    30-35 minutes
    Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      3-4 people 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      30-35 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      3-4 people 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      30-35 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 350℉. In a medium bowl toss together potatoes, olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
      2. Spread out evenly on a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning once, until just tender.
      3. While potatoes are baking, combine together mayonnaise, parmesan, capers, dill, lemon juice and pepper.
      4. Remove potatoes from oven and gently flatten each with a flat surfaced utensil (I use a metal potato masher) to a third of its original height.
      5. Set oven rack to 7" from broiler and turn oven to broil. Spread 1 tbsp of paste onto each potato. Broil for 2-3 minutes until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and serve immediately, garnishing with fresh dill if desired.

      Affiliate Disclosure

      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes

      Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes

      Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes recipe is an oldie but a goodie.  A simple way to use the cold, hard mashed potatoes that have been hiding in your fridge for three days. I can say with confidence that I always make too many mashed potatoes.  With the same confidence, I can also say that I’ve had that forgotten Tupperware container of mashed potatoes buried in my refrigerator.  I think we’ve all been there. So the next time you’re sifting through your fridge, desperately trying to find something for lunch and can’t believe you have nothing.  Dig deep and move a few jars to find the lost and lonely tub of mashed potatoes, begging to be consumed.  Mix with a few pantry items and a give a quick pan fry, you’ll find lunch is served.

      What I like about this recipe, is the ratio of potato to egg and breadcrumbs.  I find the cakes stay moist and hold together very well during forming and frying.  While this is my own little version, you could easily customize the flavours to your liking. Maybe try different greens and herbs, garlic, parmesan, corn or sautéed onions. I also used sour cream and fresh dill as an accompaniment, but tzatziki would also be great. Use whatever you have on hand and enjoy!

      Recipe source for Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes:  Compelled To Cook

      Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        2 people 15 minutes
        Cook Time
        10 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        2 people 15 minutes
        Cook Time
        10 minutes
        Spinach and Cheddar Potato Cakes
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          2 people 15 minutes
          Cook Time
          10 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          2 people 15 minutes
          Cook Time
          10 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. In a medium bowl, mix together egg, spinach, seasoning salt, onion powder and pepper Add mashed potatoes and mix until well combined. Stir in cheese, bread crumbs and chives. Mix until combined and bread crumbs have been absorbed.
          2. Heat oil in a non stick frying pan over medium high heat. While pan is heating, form 1/3 cup potato mixture into approximate 3" patties about 1/2" thick and place into pan as you form them. Cook 4-5 minutes per side until heated through and golden brown.
          3. Stir together sour cream and dill and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep chilled until ready to serve with cakes.

          Cedar Plank Potatoes

          Cedar Plank Potatoes

          Want glorious potatoes, creamy on the inside, golden on the outside, without turning on your oven?  You will when you get a look at these amazing Cedar Plank Potatoes.  Mashed potatoes get amped up with a good helping of roasted garlic (also cooked on the grill if you want), fresh herbs and cream cheese.  They’re grilled golden on a cedar plank and can be fully prepped ahead, making them fantastic for entertaining.  But nobody needs to wait for that, right?

          What spurred me to these luscious little domes?  My new Napoleon grill of course.  My husband and I recently upgraded our backyard with a deck and outdoor gas fireplace. As luck would have it, some of the more expensive items came in under budget.  This left a little cash for the frills, like furniture and new grill. We decided upon a Napoleon LEX grill, which has been amazing so far.  I love it because it gets crazy hot, has a smoker accessory and searing burner.  Napoleon Grills also have a great user friendly website with numerous recipes, and that’s where I found this great recipe.  I couldn’t wait to try them, and you won’t want to wait either.

          I have to say, I didn’t really know how bad my old grill was until I fired up my new one.  We had the old one for at least 10 years, maybe longer.  A couple of parts had been replaced along the way and I figured it still had some life left.  I’m sure it did, but not a very good one comparatively to the new grill.  I guess we all adapt to what we know and sometimes don’t know any different, as was the case for me.  Today I give thanks to my wonderful husband for persuading me to purchase a new one.

          Recipe source for Cedar Plank Potatoes, adapted from Napoleon Grills Plank Smoked Mashed Potatoes

          Cedar Plank Potatoes
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            6-8 people 20 minutes
            Cook Time
            45 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            6-8 people 20 minutes
            Cook Time
            45 minutes
            Cedar Plank Potatoes
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              6-8 people 20 minutes
              Cook Time
              45 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              6-8 people 20 minutes
              Cook Time
              45 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. Peel potatoes and cut into 2" chunks. Simmer potatoes in lightly salted water until very tender 15-20 minutes. Drain potatoes and return pot to low heat. Mash potatoes over low heat, allowing the potatoes to give off any excess moisture. Once potatoes are smooth, remove from heat and add butter, cream cheese, roasted garlic, salt and pepper. Continue to mash until combined and creamy. Stir in fresh herbs.
              2. Preheat grill to medium high or 450℉. Scoop potatoes onto pre-soaked cedar planks using a 1/4 cup scoop, leaving at least an inch between scoops (can fit 6-8 per plank). Place planks on grill and cook for 15-18 minutes until hot and golden. Remove planks from grill and use to serve potatoes or gently place potatoes onto serving dish and garnish with additional fresh herbs if desired.
              Recipe Notes

              Potatoes can be cooked, mashed, scooped and chilled up to two days in advance. Simply remove from refrigerator and place on pre-soaked planks when ready to grill. Makes 12 1/4 cup scoops.

              To roast garlic, preheat oven to 350℉.  Cut the top off the head of garlic and place on a double layer sheet of foil.  Drizzle with oil and fold foil over bulb, crimping all edges to seal packet.  Place on a baking tray and bake for about 45 minutes until golden and soft. Alternatively, you can make roasted garlic on the grill, here's how Grill Roasted Garlic

              Zahtar Potato Salad

              Zahtar Potato Salad

              Zahtar or Za’atar is a middle eastern spice blend that I’ve not had the pleasure to work with a lot with over the years. It’s a real shame because I love it!  Earthy and nutty with hints of citrus makes it wonderful with so many foods.  Hummus and pita are probably the first things people think of when they associate it, but it goes way beyond.  Great with chicken, eggs and potatoes to name a few. I recently came across a Zahtar Egg Salad and figured why not incorporate it into a potato salad, and Zahtar Potato Salad was born. 

              I was not far off the mark thinking it would be delicious. The combination of briny, salty olives and creamy mayonnaise brings baby potatoes to life and makes for a great Mediterranean version.  Even though I prefer the  mayonnaise based potato salad, I did experiment with a warm salad version using olive oil to dress it instead of the mayonnaise.  It too was a tasty version of potato salad but I just couldn’t stop scooping up the creamier version.  Maybe because that was the way my mom used to make it and by far the type I’ve eaten most in my life. 

              The Zahtar I purchased contains salt, so I therefore found it was not necessary to add additional salt in this recipe.  If your Zahtar does not contain salt,  be sure to add salt to taste. You can also make your own if desired, here is a simple recipe from The Genius Kitchen

              Recipe source for Zahtar Potato Salad:  Inspired by Bon Appetit Mediterranean Egg Salad

              Zahtar Potato Salad
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                5 cups 30 minutes
                Cook Time
                12 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                5 cups 30 minutes
                Cook Time
                12 minutes
                Zahtar Potato Salad
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  5 cups 30 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  12 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  5 cups 30 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  12 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: cups
                  Instructions
                  1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and place pine nuts in a single layer on a small baking tray or pie plate. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes, turning at least once until golden. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to use.
                  2. Heat enough water to just cover the eggs and simmer gently for no more than 12 minutes. Drain and immediately cool under cold running water. Once cooled, peel and coarsely chop.
                  3. Steam or boil baby potatoes in simmering lightly salted water until just fork tender, about 8-10 minutes depending on size. Drain and cool under cold water. Allow potatoes to drain thoroughly once cool.
                  4. Cut potatoes into bite size pieces, usually a baby potato cut in half or quartered makes for a nice size.
                  5. In a medium size bowl stir together red onion, green olives, mayonnaise, greek yogurt, Zahtar and salt and pepper. Add chopped potatoes, eggs, pine nuts and cilantro. Gently stir into mayonnaise until combined. Serve immediately sprinkled with additional cilantro if desired. Can be chilled for several hours prior to serving if needed. Best served the day it is made.
                  Recipe Notes

                  -For time management, the potatoes, pine nuts and eggs can be cooked at the same time.

                  -The Zahtar I used contained salt, so little extra salt was needed. However, if your brand does not include salt you will need to adjust seasoning to taste.

                  Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes

                  Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes

                  I’ve never met a bowl of mashed potatoes I didn’t like and Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes are proof that not all mashed potatoes need to be smothered in gravy.  These zesty and herbaceous potatoes need nothing more than a side of your favourite roasted meat.

                  A simple recipe that brings life to an everyday side dish and the pesto can be made ahead of time and simply swirled in at the last minute.  Like so many people I am prone to making the same things time and time again. Mashed potatoes are a good example of this behaviour.  Boil, mash, add butter, a little milk, salt and pepper.  The same thing over and over and at times it’s out of convenience, or time pressures and sometimes because my brain needs a rest from thinking of food (who am I kidding, it never stops thinking of food).  Whatever your reason, let this recipe pull you out of that rut for a brightened up bowl of everyones favourite side.

                  I love this Pesto Swirl Mashed Potato recipe because the basil pesto gives mashed potatoes a fresh and bright makeover.  The toasted pine nuts add a little crunchy texture that tells your palette it’s not eating just any mashed potatoes.  Enjoy!

                  Recipe Source:  Compelled To Cook

                   

                  Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes are bright and zesty swirly with basil pesto and topped with toasted pine nuts.
                  Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes
                  Print Recipe
                  Herbaceous and bright basil pesto swirled into creamy mashed potatoes and topped with toasted pine nuts.
                    Servings
                    8 servings
                    Servings
                    8 servings
                    Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes are bright and zesty swirly with basil pesto and topped with toasted pine nuts.
                    Pesto Swirl Mashed Potatoes
                    Print Recipe
                    Herbaceous and bright basil pesto swirled into creamy mashed potatoes and topped with toasted pine nuts.
                      Servings
                      8 servings
                      Servings
                      8 servings
                      Ingredients
                      Basil Pesto
                      Mashed Potatoes
                      Servings: servings
                      Instructions
                      Basil Pesto
                      1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Spread 1/4 cup of pine nuts evenly onto small baking tray, bake for approximately 10-12 minutes until golden. Set aside and allow to cool. In a food processor bowl combine basil, 1/4 cup of untoasted pine nuts, cheese, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Pulse until the mixture is broken down and finely chopped. With processor running, gradually add oil and process until smooth, approximately 10 seconds. Set aside. Makes about a 1/2 cup.
                      Mashed Potatoes
                      1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add potatoes and cook until very tender. Drain potatoes and return pot to low heat and allow any residual moisture to evaporate, 1-2 minutes. Mash potatoes or press through a ricer. Add butter, and mash just to combine. Mash in salt, pepper and enough milk to make creamy. Top potatoes with 3/4 of the pesto and fold into potatoes with a flat rubber spatula. Drizzle remaining pesto on top and garnish with toasted pine nuts. Serve immediately.
                      Recipe Notes

                      The basil pesto can easily be prepared while the potatoes are cooking.