21 October 2011

Happy Accident Soup ... or Empty Bowl Blues

damp cold day  ... empty bowl blues

When I first started cooking, I followed recipes to ... the ... letter. Sometimes, I was ecstatic and at other times not so ecstatic. As I gained confidence in the kitchen and learned about spice chemistry, kitchen chemistry, and husband and kid chemistry, I got  to the point where I could play with recipes or make up meals from what was sitting around the counter top and in the fridge. These meals usually came at a time when I was a.) unorganized and forgot to take something from the freezer in the morning b.) on a tear and sick of making all the usual 'crap' (not literally) c.) on a mission to purge the kitchen of various and sundry or d.) alone in the house with the kids and knowing I could get away with a disaster because there was always Kraft mac&cheese in the blue box.

Out of those experiments, I've had many a 'happy accident' - a meal that was so tasty, so unexpectedly good that I have written my procedure down to try to bring back the magic at another time. We won't go into the disasters ...

~~~~~ time warp ~~~~~

Here is one of those 'happy accidents'. For some background, I have been ...  c.)  on a mission to purge the freezer, fridge, and cupboards of some of the cans, condiments, and smaller portions of meat that I've squirreled away over the spring and summer. Winter is coming on and I have a line on local beef and turkey and maybe some local rabbit so I am on a mission to make space for the meats and some new ingredients for using these meats.  Hence, I pulled two links of Andouille sausage out of the freezer, a can of chickpeas out of the cupboard, some potatoes, onions, and garlic from the garden drawer, cheap kale from the crisper drawer, and vegetable broth, a small jar of leftover tahini, and a container of leftover chickpeas from the fridge. I made soup ... a really good soup! A happy accident soup!

Kristen's Herbed Asiago Rolls

To boot, my blogging friend,  Kristen posted this incredibly yummy and savory throwback to cinnamon rolls last weekend and I just knew they'd work with this soup!

Hit the link to Kristen's blog to make the rolls. You won't be disappointed. Thanks, Kristen!

 ~~~~~ Hummmmm ~~~~~ the sound of ecstasy.

Yup, guys! It was a good supper in the grey cottage tonight! All this while I sipped Pinot Grigio and listened to good music ... oh, and made a good fire in the woodstove so those rolls had a cozy spot to puff up. Let it rain and let it bluster! Who cares?

Happy Accident Soup
Chickpea and Andouille Soup with Kale

Makes 6 servings


2 links Andouille sausage, sliced on the diagonal into coins
1 half a large white sweet onion, small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 big (size of your fist) potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
1 handful of kale, washed, spines trimmed out and sliced into ribbons
1½ – 15 oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 tbsp. olive oil
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1½ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
4 - 5 c. chicken broth
1 c. light cream
3 tbsp. tahini
1½ tbsp. cornstarch or potato starch

Making the Soup:

1. Heat olive oil in a big flameproof claypot or heavy soup pot and add the onion and garlic. Sauté until the veg is glistening and soft.

2. Add the cumin, red pepper flakes, and coriander and stir until the spices are fragrant.

3. Add the broth and the potatoes and let the potatoes cook for a few minutes.

4. Add the chickpeas and sausage and lower the heat, simmering until the potatoes are tender.

5. Mix the cream, starch of your choice, tahini, salt and black pepper to make a slurry.

6. Stir into the soup when the potatoes are just tender and mix until the soup is smooth and beginning to thicken a bit.

7. Add the kale, stir it into the mix, cover and simmer until the kale is bright green and tender crisp.

8. Serve with savory bread and some cold wine.


  1. Beautiful bowl both empty and full, but even better full - I love when those "throw together" suppers work - so satisfying.

  2. That is one happy accident and I am making those Asiago Rolls.

  3. I love your soup bowls, they're gorgeous!... and that soup looks good too... aren't they the best things these 'throw together' meals... love it!

  4. I LOVE soup, and what a beautiful bowl to put it in! Oh, those rolls look pretty good too. Sounds like it was cozy in your kitchen!

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  5. This was too funny Susan - your accidents are ones I completely relate too :) And the soup - so heartful with those lovely ingredients. I LOVE your culinary accidents and you fare brilliantly at those!

    PS - Those rolls have me drooling as well. Must make 'em soon.

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  6. Kale, chickpeas and spices. That sound like it could become one of my favorites. BTW, your pictures are beautiful.

  7. Forgive me for not commenting earlier. Your rolls turned out beautifully! The soup sounds pretty incredible, too.


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