Kelly Rossiter Photo
Kelly Rossiter

Today is opening day for The Royal Argricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, which is one of my favourite things to do in Toronto. While there are lots of activities aimed at families, it is first and foremost a working fair where farmers bring their livestock and produce for prizes and for sale. It is a fantastic place to learn about food production and distribution.

It's also a fantastic place to eat. I always took my kids and we would just wander around and graze, having a little turkey sandwich, some deep fried mushrooms, some beans, and washing it all down with some fresh, ice cold milk. Maple sugar candies would always be a feature as well, and we would take maple fudge home for my mother. My kids always loved the butter sculptures, which are pretty amazing. Sculptors get 25 kilos of fresh butter and have a day to sculpt their entry. This year's theme is "Celebration of Local Food: 100 Mile Diet" so I'm certainly going to have to check that out this year.

The Fair also has a few restaurants set up, but I have never been into one of them. I think there is too much going on in the rest of the place to sit down to a meal. Besides, having a little of this and a little of that is part of the fun. However, this soup recipe comes from chef Steffan Howard at the Harvest Grille Restaurant at the Fair, via The Toronto Star. The original recipe calls for sorrel, but the Star writer thought it was too difficult to come by and so chef Howard suggested substituting apple juice instead. I found that a bit odd, given that sorrel has a decidedly lemon flavour and I would have substituted lemon juice. In any case, I have an unbelievable amount of sorrel in my garden, so I used it as originally intended. I liked the soup as it was, but my husband thought it needed a spicy component, so add some red pepper flakes along with the garlic if you like your soup spicy.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb (225 g) fresh chorizo sausage (or other spicy pork sausage)
1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 lb (450 g) potatoes (about 3), scrubbed, thinly sliced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
6 cups (1.5L) vegetable stock or water
1/4 cup apple juice
2 tsp kosher salt + more for seasoning
3/4 lb (375 g) kale (about 1 bunch), thick stems removed, leaves very finely shredded crosswise
Freshly ground black pepper
(60 mL)(10 mL)

PREPARATION:

  1. Prick sausages with fork; place on baking sheet. Bake in preheated 375F (190C) oven until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes; thinly slice.
  2. Meanwhile, in large saucepan, warm oil over medium heat. Add onions, Cook, stirring, 8 minutes. Add potatoes and garlic. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add stock or water, apple juice and 2 tsp (10 mL) salt. Cover; reduce heat to low. Simmer until potatoes are very soft, about 25 minutes. Mash potatoes to purée with potato masher or wooden spoon. Add sausage. Cook over low heat 5 minutes to warm through. Stir in kale, in batches. Simmer, uncovered, 3 to 5 minutes. Greens should stay bright green and slightly crunchy. Taste; season with salt and pepper if desired.
This recipe appears in: Soups

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