On Mirrored Elevators and Hearty Lunches

February 4, 2009


The past two mornings, I have actually been grateful for the mirrored elevators that usher me up 43 floors to my office everyday.  Usually, I find these mirrored elevators to be a real conundrum.  How do I abide by the socially-acceptable (totally SNL-skit-ish) custom of staring straight at the closed elevator doors, carefully avoiding all eye contact with my fellow elevator passengers when doing so leaves me staring directly at, well, myself? It’s weird.  But the last two mornings, as I said, have been different.  I have stepped onto the elevators, heard the recorded elevator lady saying “Going Up” in her ambiguous, international accented English, felt the doors slide quickly closed and said a silent thank you as I looked directly into the mirrored walls.  Because doing so allowed me to confirm that no, my face had not actually frozen off during my brief walk from the gym to the office.


It’s been that cold.


But, I’m happy to report that the mirrored elevators have not been the only highlight to my Tuesday and Wednesday (thank god).  Because both days I’ve had a lunch date with the microwave near my office and a tupperware full of this sweet potato, sausage and kale soup.


Between the chunks of sunset-hued sweet potatoes, the vibrantly green crinkled kale, the meaty chickpeas, the hearty bits of sausage and a strong punch of heat from the dried chile flakes, this soup could make even the most bone chilling (or, say, face freezing) day seem cozy.  I can’t wait to have it again tomorrow.

Sweet Potato, Sausage and Kale Soup
Cooking Light

Printable Recipe

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups chopped onion (about 2 large)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pound bulk spicy turkey Italian sausage
8 cups coarsely chopped peeled sweet potato (about 2 1/4 pounds)
5 cups water
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Remove casings from sausage; add sausage to pan. Cook 5 minutes or until sausage is lightly browned, stirring to crumble. Add potato, 5 cups water, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Gradually add kale; cook 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste) and beans; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.


15 Responses to “On Mirrored Elevators and Hearty Lunches”

  1. brilynn Says:

    It’s definitely been soup/stew weather. Minus 20 today… all I want to do is cook and bake and keep the oven running to stay warm.

  2. Karen Says:

    Oh, thank you for this! I’ve been prowling your website for gut warming recipes and this is exactly what I wanted to guide my farmer’s market shopping trip this Saturday. We’ll be having it this weekend and throughout the week, I’m sure. And I love that it’s from Cooking Light so I can find the nutritional info. Great blog, I check it all the time!

  3. Jen Says:

    Kale and sweet potatoes always go together so great! Lovely soup!

  4. kate Says:

    Some form or another of this dish is made almost monthly during the winter in my kitchen. It’s such a great combination! I love lentils and sweet potatoes too.

  5. Jen Says:

    Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods. This looks like a great soup to try. I might just have to pick up the ingredients when I run to the store later today (or maybe tomorrow)…

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  6. Betsy Says:

    Yum – this looks delicious!

  7. eggsonsunday Says:

    This soup combines a whole bunch of my favorite foods – it looks and sounds delicious!! Definitely going on the “to make” list of soups. Stay warm. 🙂 -Amy

  8. holler Says:

    43 floors up! Boy, oh boy! I don’t think I would like that much, but nice Le Creuset!

  9. Melissa Says:

    I needed to see this. I make a sausage, kale, pancetta and potato soup that’s cream based. I love the ingredients but would very much like to transform it into a healthier dish. I don’t know why I don’t just think of these things on my own yet, darn it.

    Stay warm!

  10. Whitney Says:

    I have been living on soups this winter. Can you believe that it is going to be 42 today!?!?! I am already looking forward to an OUTSIDE run after my externship today.

    Happy Friday!

  11. Brilynn: Minus 20? Bundle up! (And I’ll stop complaining!)

    Karen: Thank you! Enjoy the farmer’s market this weekend.

    Jen: It was my first time combining them, and I agree wholeheartedly.

    kate: Oooh, I like the thought of lentils and sweet potatoes. With some warm spices, like cumin. Mmm.

    Jen: I hope you like it! Let us know what you think.

    Betsy: It was!

    Amy: I could see this being up your alley. Especially if you’re getting sweet potatoes in your share!

    holler: I prefer ground level too. : ) And thanks re: the Le Creuset. I love that pot so (too?) much.

    Melissa: Ha! I hope you try this. But your recipe sounds incredible (pancetta + cream is all I need to know) too.

    Whitney: 42! I know! Heaven.

  12. Michael Says:

    42? It’s been 80 or so most of this week.

    I’m worried about next winter, it’s one thing to visit the great lakes area in December, but to go an entire winter wearing pants? I don’t know if I can handle that.

  13. Calypso Says:

    Perfect timing for this post; our grocery store finally got some kale in, and after trying a sweet potato/kale combo in a recipe last night, I have to agree with Jen above that it is a great combo!

  14. Cheryl Says:

    This is way out of my comfort zone but I made it this weekend! My meat and potatoes dad didn’t allow soup in the house so I’m late to experience soup greatness. Never had kale before and probably only had sweet potatoes in a candied version. This stuff was good! Thanks for the inspiration.

  15. suprsalem Says:

    I bookmarked this a couple weeks ago and finally made it last weekend. I just had to come back and leave a comment because of how great of a recipe this is! I’ve been on a bit of a sweet potato kick lately, and I’ve never had kale before, and I also used chorizo instead of the spicy italian sausage, but it all turned out amazing. Been eating it for lunch all week. Just might have to make it again this weekend. Thanks for the recipe!

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