Turkey Kielbasa, Sweet Potato and Leek Soup

Aired June 30, 2009

Serves 4 servings
2 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pound turkey kielbasa, chopped into medium dice
4 medium leeks, roots removed, white and light green parts roughly chopped and thoroughly cleaned of all grit (dark green parts discarded)
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
A couple dashes hot sauce
A pinch nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock, divided
5 leftover baked sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Sour cream, low-fat or regular, for garnish (optional)

Place a soup pot over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Once hot, add the kielbasa and cook until brown and crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the pot and reserve on paper towel-lined plate.

To the same pot, add the leeks, thyme, garlic, hot sauce, nutmeg, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes, until the leeks are tender.

Transfer leeks to a food processor along with about 2 cups of the chicken stock and pure until smooth. Add the chunks of sweet potato and another 4 cups of the chicken stock -- work in batches if you have a small food processor or if you are working with a blender. Pure until smooth and return to the soup pot, adding enough chicken stock to achieve a thick and creamy soup consistency.

Turn the heat on to medium-high, bring up to a bubble and simmer a couple of minutes. Serve the soup topped with some of the crispy turkey kielbasa and a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

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