Sunday, February 3, 2013

Keep warm with this delicious soup (even in Canada!)

Please welcome our guest, Erika Chase, to Mystery Lovers Kitchen.

Erika is the author of the Ashton Corners Book Club mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime. In another life she was the owner of Prime Crime Mystery Bookstore. She knows her mysteries and her cold weather soups.  Take it away, Erika!


Thanks for having me here at Mystery Lovers Kitchen.

There’s nothing I love more on these cold winter days than homemade soup. Okay, maybe I love chocolates more but not the best choice for supper.

Last time I made this Sausage and Kale Soup, I stuck to the recipe. This time I became a bit more adventuresome…partly because I didn’t have enough kale, so added some bok choy to the pot. It doesn’t call for any seasoning but I thought I’d try using andaouille sausage to make up for that lack, rather than the turkey sausage I used last time. And, I ended up substituting black beans for the pinto, navy or kidney beans the recipe suggests, just because I like them.

The result… very tasty to my taste buds with a bit of a kick.  Hope you enjoy!

1 tbsp olive oil
½ onion
2 cloves garlic
1 package sausage
2 large white button mushrooms
2 ½ cups chicken broth
1 – 25 ounce can minced tomatoes
1 bunch fresh kale
1 – 15 ounce can beans

Brown sausage in frying pan.  Cool slightly then slice into bite-sized pieces and cut kale into 2-inch pieces (discarding tough kale stems). Dice the onion and the garlic. Chop the mushrooms.

Heat olive oil and onions in a large saucepan and cook until translucent.  Add sausage, garlic and seasoning and cook for 3-4 minutes; adding mushrooms halfway through. Pour in the chicken broth and tomatoes. Add the kale.

Bring to a gentle boil and simmer 25 minutes. Add the beans and simmer another five minutes.

 Sit back and savor! 

Read and Buried: the second Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery is now available.  Don't miss this chance to catch up with Lizzie Turner and the intrepid readers at the mystery book club!  

And find out more about this book-lovin' series over at


  1. Oh this sounds wonderful Erika. Even Key West is a little "chilly" right now so you've given us the perfect antidote for a winter evening.

    I didn't know you were a bookstore owner in another life! Is the store still open?

    1. I'd love some Key West "chilly" right about now.

      The store closed a couple of years ago but was recently "revived" as the Prime Crime Bookshelf (no relation to the publisher!)-- a cosy space filled with wonderful mystery fiction, in a popular magazine shop, Brittons in the Glebe in Ottawa. In fact, I've spotted books by Mystery Lovers Kitchen bloggers on the shelves!

  2. This sounds yummy, Linda. I love how you substitute things and add things to make it better. That's the creative mind at work!

    1. Thanks! Looking out the window this morning, I'd say it's a perfect day for this soup. Wouldn't you agree?

  3. Looking out the window here in Ottawa, I can't imagine a better soup for the day. Thanks for sharing it, Linda/Erika!

  4. This looks great! I've been trying to find new ways to incorporate kale into my diet ... and I know just the fake sausage to use! Thanks for sharing Erika!

    1. Would love to know what fake sausage you're going to use, Wendy! Sounds intriguing for next time around.

  5. Erika - I am absolutely making this soup! We have packages of chorizo in the fridge and I'll use that for the sausage and (at your brilliant suggestion) bok choy for the kale. We have a large Asian community here in Queens, NYC, and bok choy is coming out of our ears--forgive the cliche, but I couldn't resist that image. :) Congrats on the success of your Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries, and I'm looking forward to your third book, coming this summer, right?

    ~ Cleo

    1. Thanks so much, Cleo -- yes, it's out in Aug. I'll give chorizo a try at some point, too!

  6. You cook like I do! Substitute this for that and that for this and suddenly it's a whole new recipe! This looks yummy! Perfect for the snowy days we are having here in Michigan.

    1. I think we're having similar snowy days, Meg. Enjoy! The food, I mean.

  7. My alter ego Meg posted above, and I second her opinion. This looks great!

  8. Erika, it's so cold down here in Virginia that we need soup like this. Why is it that cold weather makes me want to eat more? Brr! Your soup sounds delicious. Must pick up some kale!

    ~ Krista