Beer-Braised Sausage and Potato Soup with Kale, Carrots, and Gruyere Croutons

This soup has a rich, beer-infused broth that adds a new layer of flavor to a classic staple. Cooking with beer can be tricky, but the secret to doing it well is choosing the right variety for your recipe. For this dish, stick with a lager or pale ale. Skip IPAs and other ultra-hoppy optionsas they can result in a bitter flavor once they reduce. And don’t be tempted to skip the croutons – the tangy cheese is what brings all the flavors together!

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  1. Heat a 3-quart saucepan on medium high. Spray with non-stick cooking spray, then brown your sausages for 3 minutes on each side. Remove the sausages from the pan and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in the saucepan, then add the chopped onions and season lightly with salt. Saute for 3-4 minutes until softened, then pour in the beer, scraping up any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pot.
  3. Return the sausages to the pot, reduce the heat to a simmer, and place the lid on the soup pot. Cook sausages for ten minutes.
  4. After ten minutes, remove the sausages from the pot and set aside again.
  5. Add the chicken broth, celery, carrots, potatoes, thyme, and bouillon cube. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Do not overcook the potatoes or they will begin to disintegrate.
  6. While the potatoes are cooking, slice the sausages into rounds. Once the potatoes are done, stir in the chopped kale and sausage rounds until they are heated through and the kale begins to soften but maintains its bite.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. To make the croutons, place baguette slices on a baking sheet and top each with 2 Tb. of grated Gruyere cheese. Broil on low for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is crisp. Watch it carefully to avoid burning as oven temperatures may vary.

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