Baby it’s cold outside!  No really cold outside!  No I don’t want to break out into a duet, it’s just cold outside. And if one more person tells me “it’s Canada”, I really will explode. I know it’s Canada, I’ve spent nearly all my life here. It doesn’t help. Now hot soup, that will help! So warm things up with this hearty soup and biscuit meal. Simple soup really and don’t forget as with any soup recipe I give you, substitutions are welcome – really, and please share your ideas with me.

The biscuits complemented the soup nicely, they made it a more substantial meal. I make these biscuits (as well as many variations of it) in my cooking classes at the PC Cooking Schools. Tons of flavorings to modify this recipe, just keep your proportions of wet to dry ingredients the same for any baked good. Remember, – where cooking an art, baking is a science! So go crazy with the flavors – rosemary and garlic, jalapeno/habanero and cheese, cooked ground hot Italian sausage and fennel etc. As always – enjoy!  (Sorry for the rant earlier, but I really am more of a late spring/ALL SUMMER/early fall kind of guy!) 🙂

For the soup:
2 hot Italian sausage links or chorizo or turkey sausage
1 large onion
2 stalks celery
2 small carrots
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 can kidney beans (or any other kind of bean or lentil)
1 cup kale salad mix
4 – 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
olive oil for sautéing
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the sausage links – if you freeze them for about 30 minutes, the slicing is easier
In a soup pot over medium heat, add about 1 tbsp. olive oil and the sliced sausage
Sauté until cooked, remove from the pot, drain out the excess fat but don’t rinse the pot
Add some olive oil, when hot, add the onions, carrots and celery and stir to soften
Add the garlic and stir
Add the sausage links – stir, then the stock
Allow the soup to come to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and let the flavors meld together for about 15 minutes
Add the kidney beans and kale, continue to simmer for another 10 minutes
Taste, season and taste again – using salt and pepper (crushed chili peppers, seasoned rice vinegar, soya sauce etc.)
– Optional – if you like it thicker, use an immersion blender and give the bottom of the soup a couple of quick pulses, the puree will thicken the soup
That’s it really – but while the soup is simmering away, make the biscuits

For the biscuits: Makes about 20 biscuits (depending on how big/small you make them)
2-1/2 cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar
2-1/2 (10 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) cold butter, cubed
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper or 2 – 6 finely chopped Thai chilies or 1 tbsp. crushed chili flakes
1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk (if you have it use it, otherwise don’t buy a whole litre of buttermilk, make your own with 1 cup milk and 1 tbsp. vinegar, let it sit for a few minutes, and it’s ready – use full fat milk or add 1/4 cup heavy cream to 3/4 cup of 1% or less milk)
1 egg
8 slices spicy salami or prosciutto, diced (chunks of well fried bacon or pancetta could also be used)
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano or aged cheddar or a mix of white/orange cheddar or any other cheese you happen to like/have in the house

Preheat the oven to 400F
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl
Add the butter and work the butter into the flour mixture until it is all crumbly – use your hands or a pastry cutter, fork, two knives etc.
Add the cheese and prosciutto
Whisk the egg into the buttermilk
Add to the dry mixture and just mix to wet the dough – do not overwork the dough – your biscuits will be tough and dry. I usually start with a fork to get the mixture going then just lift and gently toss the rest with my fingers
Scoop out 1/4 cup portions (approximately, please don’t measure – really) onto a parchment lined baking sheet – until all the dough is done
Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until golden brown on top and cooked through
Serve with the soup or just on it’s own – biscuits just out of the oven = lots of hugs and kisses for you from your family!
As always – enjoy!

Sausage, Kale and Kidney Bean Soup with Cheddar Prosciutto Biscuits5a

Sausage, Kale and Kidney Bean Soup with Cheddar Prosciutto Biscuits4b