Tomatillo & Sausage Soup
This is a slightly streamlined version of a traditional Mexican soup. The original is made with meatballs, but sausage makes the whole procedure so much quicker and easier, and is really just as good as long as you use a good quality sausage. If you can get a Mexican chorizo so much the better, but around here it's Italian sausage or Italian sausage
As for the Jalapeños; you must use your judgement. Whether you use one, two or none will depend on 1.) how spicy your sausage is; 2.) how spicy you want your soup to be and 3.) how spicy the Jalapeños actually are. Most of the ones you get around here are actually not that hot, unfotunately. Still, it's a bit of gamble... you never know. We put in two and liked it, but that's us.
45 minutes prep time
500 grams (1 pound; 12 to 14 medium) tomatillos
1 medium onion
3 to 4 cloves of garlic
2 small to medium Jalapeños (but to taste)
250 grams (1/2 pound; 2 medium) fresh chorizo or hot Italian sausages
1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil (if needed)
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seed
4 cups chicken stock
up to 1/2 teaspoon salt (if needed)
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
1 large lime, quartered
extra cilantro for garnish
Remove the husks from the tomatillos, and rinse them, and cut them into quarters. Peel and slice the onion. Peel the garlic, and slice it. Remove the stems and seeds from the Jalapeños, and cut them in pieces.
Cut the sausage into smallish bite-sized pieces. Fry them up in a heavy-bottomed soup pot, using the oil if it is needed to keep them from sticking. (If they are fairly fatty and you don't need the oil, start them off with about a quarter cup of water in the pan to keep them from sticking.)
Once the sausage pieces are nicely browned, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and set them aside. Drain off most of the fat if there is too much; the bottom of the pan should be well coated but not much more. Put the tomatillos, onion and Jalapeños into the pot and cook them for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly browned and softened. Add the garlic and cumin seed, mix in well, and after a minute or so add the chicken stock. Add the salt, depending on how salty the chicken stock is. Half a teaspoon assumes unsalted stock.
Let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Purée the soup in a blender or food processor with the 1/4 cup of cilantro until fairly smooth, then return it to the pot. Add the sausage and any juices thereof back into the soup, and simmer for another 10 minutes or so.
Serve the soup sprinkled with extra cilantro, and pass a wedge of lime to be squeezed over it.
- Jennifer Sanders, Seasonal Ontario Food
For more inspiring, local recipes visit Jennifer Sanders' blog, Seasonal Ontario Food.