I Got Your Soups Right Here, Pal


So, Monday I asked about soup.

And like, over 100 of you nutty people were apparently geeked enough about soup to answer the call. Which I think is awesome of you fine, upstanding soup-monkeys and to celebrate, I’m going to roll around on a tarp covered with soup. *roll roll roll* *eat eat eat* *nap*

Anyway, I didn’t want to be left out of the fun.

And so I deliver unto you in a beam of light two soup recipes. The beam will burn the scales from your eyes and you will have divine knowledge of Sausage-Kale Soup and Vegetable Soup.

Let us begin with:

Sausage-Kale Soup

Kale is a hearty sonofabitch. It’s a bitey, tough, angry green — it’s all Russian and hale and it’ll run through your colon like a wire brush. It’s also a cannonball of nutrients blasting through your whole body, so it’s a damn fine green to eat. But it’s not an easy beast to tame. Yeah, you can braise it or have it sauteed, or you can crisp it up and eat it as a chip. Some will even tell you to jack up a smoothie with some kale. I’ve done it. It made my smoothie taste like I was drinking fruit accentuated with liquid lawn clippings. File under, “DO NOT RECOMMEND.”

But soup. Soup tames the cantankerous kale.

And so I give you, sausage-kale soup. A soup so good, it killed your mother and took her identity and nurtured you for all your life AND YOU NEVER KNEW IT HA HA HA HA. Ahem.


So, it’s like this:

Big stock pot. Get it. Empty all your sex toys out of it because of course that’s where you’ve been storing them. (Makes for fast and easy boiling when you need to disinfect.) Pop it on the stove over medium-high heat with a little olive oil in there. No, no, not Astroglide. You monster.

Olive oil gets hot, time to put into there two types of sausage.

The first type: country sausage, ground.

Country sausage is a breakfasty sausage. It drives a pickup. It knows its way around a shotgun.

The other type of sausage?

Well, let’s say it’s a Choose Your Own Adventure type of sausage.

Pick a sausage you like, use it. I’ve gone with Italian, and it was… okay. I did kielbasa and it was better. Just tonight I made it with banger sausages (HA HA HA BANGER) and man if that wasn’t top of the pops, baby. I took the colonic casings off and went with the ground stuff inside, but if you like that skin-pop between your teeth, keep the casings on.

Brown the meat. Or you get the hose again.

Then, atop the meat: half an onion, diced.

Then: white beans.

Sure, you could do potatoes, but seriously, beans are another superfood. The sausage will try to hang out in your colon like a gang of loitering teenagers, but the kale and the beans will run the sirens and drive those miscreants out of Bowel-Town. This isn’t appetizing, is it? Discussing bowel health? I’m sorry. Let’s just move on and assume that we all poop vanilla-scented rainbows. What was I saying? Right. Beans. I put in two types of white bean: navy and cannelloni. Canned, unless you feel like soaking dry beans for seven weeks AND I DO NOT.

Next, sprinkle on some salt, some red pepper (cayenne or flake), some sage, some Italian seasonings (think: basil, marjoram, thyme, oregano, rosemary). A dash or three of your enemies’ tears. Curiously: no garlic. I just don’t think this recipe needs garlic.

And I think most recipes need garlic.

Into the mix goes: two cups of chicken stock.

Then three cups of whole milk.

One cup of heavy cream.

Let that simmer. Forty-five minutes.

While it waits, it is time to behold the…


There exists a mighty panoply of kale types — Russian, Siberian, curly kale, dinosaur kale (no, really), Thai stick, Bolivian white, red dragon. Okay, I think those last three might be types of drugs. Whatever. Point is: lots of kale types to choose from. Curly kale is what you’ll find in your grocery store, most likely, and it’s the mildest and sweetest kale around. It won’t push you around the playground. It’ll play nice with your pets. EAT THIS KALE.

Oh, but first, chop it up.

Inch-long pieces or so.

Wash it, too. Give it a good scrub with soap and water.


Anyway, clean it, then when your heady sausagey broth (also the slang term for the hot tub water after a bunch of frat boys have just been marinating and peeing in it together for hours — okay, that’s probably also not appetizing I should really shut up) is done, time to add the kale.

So. Uh. Add the kale.

Sorry, kind of anticlimactic there.

Let it simmer and wilt for another 20 minutes.

When it comes out, you can, if you so choose, sprinkle a little of your Most Favoritest Cheese on there. A little Parmesan would be nice. A little Pecorino. Definitely not Fomunda cheese.


That still doesn’t sound appetizing.

Just the same: you’ll thank me because this soup kicks ten kinds of ass.

Including dinosaur ass.


Vegetable Soup

This is a soup so simple you could make it drunk. On peyote. With one hand lopped off. Locked in the trunk of a Columbian drug lord’s Volvo. Man, what happened to you last night?

Anyway. Seriously, this is stupid easy.

Big pot. Again, remove all your underpants and rat skulls from it.

In the bottom of the pan, time to sweat some onions and garlic the way you’d sweat a perp. With a Taser and pictures of his mother. If you don’t have those, some heat and olive oil will do, with a little sprinkling of water and salt, cooked until the onions could best be described as “glassy,” or “opaque,” or “lustrous and enigmatic.” It’ll smell lovely to boot, because: aromatics.

Then dump in there some chopped carrot and celery. Let’s say, four of each.

This is referred to sometimes as a “mirepoix,” which is French for “sexy vegetable threesome.”

Cook that for five, ten minutes. Until you feel like not doing it anymore. I dunno. Whatever.

Into the mix goes:

Four cups of chicken stock.

A big-ass can of crushed tomatoes. Not the little-ass can. The big-ass can. I don’t know what this measures out to be. Somewhere around 47 jiga-ounces. Whatever. BIG-ASS CAN.

At this point, put in whatever spices you like. Some salt. Some pepper. A whisper of cayenne. Probably some oregano. Definitely some marjoram, thyme, rosemary, maybe some savory.

Then, add in whatever vegetables you jolly well fucking want. Frozen. Fresh. Whatever, lady, this is your soup. Own it. Live the life you’ve wanted to live and grab the bull by his bovine pendulums and — ahem. Green beans? Sure. Corn? Why the fuck not? Peas? If you like that sort of thing, follow your bliss. Some more chopped tomato? GO WILD, YOU CRAZY CHIMP.

Let it simmer.

Say, mmm, a half-hour. Enough time to watch some porn, do some laundry.

When it’s done, you have one of two options:

First, you can add a splash of cream. It’ll lighten the soup and round the edges.

Or, you can choose to squirt a little lemon juice in there right before serving. This brightens the soup and sharpens the edges. By my mileage, in fall/winter: cream. Spring/summer: lemon.

If it’s an equinox or solstice: add lamb’s gall and vampire menses.


*disappears in a hot scalding spray of soup*



  • I agree. Cooking for Motherfuckers. I’d buy it for surely sure!

    (Oh, and with the sausage-kale soup, from your experience how would coconut cream/milk go in there in place of the dairy, which doth not liketh me?)

    • I think coconut would be tasty, though it would change the soup — I’d also then maybe consider cooking the sausage from the get-go in coconut oil which lends a lovely coconuttiness to the whole affair.

      — c.

  • Thank you for including a vegetable soup recipe. I don’t eat meat so I appreciate it. But, uh, I was wondering about the cups of chicken stock that you add to the veggies. Is there such a thing as vegetable stock? I guess I could substitute water for the stock. I dunno. I don’t cook anyway.

  • When exactly do you add the whisky???

    No no, seriously, I wouldn’t put whisky in soup, that would just be silly. I’d consume massive amounts of the stuff before starting on recipe #2. The only tweak I would make would be to use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, as I’m one of those weeeird vegetarian types (I stand next to vegans in the checkout line at the supermarket, because vegans make *anyone* look normal). Haven’t eaten meat for some fifteen years or so. Humourous tale involving an unholy ritual sacrifice on the night of a full-moon and a newborn that hadn’t been cooked as thoroughly as it should have. Man, I was ill for days. These days I just sacrifice the noble leek to appease my dark master.

        • In the south, you can add whisky to just about anything. Whisky in chili is amazing. Bourbon also works. I highly recommend a good Kentucky bourbon though. It’s actually quite smooth.

          • I’ve yet to find a bourbon I can tolerate, Mel (granted, I haven’t tried all that many). I’m a self-confessed whisky snob, mostly I’ll only drink single malts or blended if I’m feeling a little adventurous.

            Must admit Chuck, the Laphroaig in chili doesn’t actually sound that bad, I’ll have to give it a try next time I can afford to buy a bottle. All this talk of whisky makes me wish I’d gone a little crazier with the credit card last time I was in Royal Mile Whiskies in Edinburgh.

          • I was born and raised in Kentucky, so drinking bourbon is kind of as natural as breathing air. And once you’ve spent most of your high school years drinking moonshine at parties, you can stomach about anything, and liquor snobbery goes out the door. Contains alcohol. Will drink.

  • “It made my smoothie taste like I was drinking fruit accentuated with liquid lawn clippings. File under, “DO NOT RECOMMEND.”

    OMFG. I started laughing so fucking hard it scared one of my cats, and he fell off the back of the couch.

    As for the rest of the post, I will file these under ‘Best Goddamn Recipes Ever’ and will try them soon. I’ll just make sure my 11yo daughter isn’t assisting and reading the recipe instructions. Not PG-13, but fucking awesome.

    • NINJA chili? Damn. You must share. My 9yo son hates chili, but I’m sure if I served that up, Mommy would suddenly be some kick-ass superhero more BAMF than Wolverine. That might earn me some parental respect points… You know, the ones you start losing when your kids realize you don’t know everything. But then I could be all BAM! MAMA HAS NINJA CHILI!

  • Chuck, you are SO fucking funny. I’ll never write a recipe the same way again, code for: I should pop a Xanax before I scribble my next idea.

    Love the white bean and sausage soup. One of my fav’s

  • May I suggest…with the kale soup, try Spanish chorizo AND, as it simmers, drop some pork chops into the soup. Have crusty rolls on hand, fish chops out of soup, put into crusty rolls, DIP CRUSTY ROLL PORK SANDWICHES BACK INTO SOUP!

  • Please write this cookbook. Soup is my favorite thing to make and I would be forever grateful if I could laugh my ass off while making dinner. You rock.

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