Smokey Kielbasa Stew 

with Bloomed Spices

This super delicious stew is packed with satisfying flavor, two sources of protein, and plenty of veg. When eaten with crusty garlic bread it makes a very complete meal and can be put together and on the table in an hour. The recipe is jazzed up by utilizing the method of blooming spices in oil (like Tadka), which lends itself to playing with your other favorite spices. 


  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 link Kielbasa, sliced into 1/2" slices
  • 2 medium onions, small chopped
  • 2 large carrots, small chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, small chopped
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp or large splash balsamic vinegar
  • 2 russet potatoes, small cubes
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked white beans, or navy beans
  • 1 28 oz can fire roasted whole tomatoes, minced, juice reserved
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp silk chili pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp whole fennel seeds, optional
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley stems (save leaves for garnish)
  • 8 oz baby spinach, minced Swiss chard or kale
  • Your favorite salt, like Salish
  • Fresh ground black pepper, or ground smoked peppercorns
  • GratedRomano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


1. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a wide soup pot that can hold at least 6 quarts. 
2. Over medium heat, sear kielbasa in oil, stirring often, until some of the sides are golden brown and a bit of the fat and juices start to render out and into the pan. Remove with a slotted spoon, leave dregs.
3. Add onion and saute till turning slightly translucent.
4. Add carrot, celery and saute until vegetables are slightly cooked
5. Add garlic and saute for another couple minutes, stirring often to keep garlic from burning. 
6. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir constantly until you've deglazed the pan.
7. Add potatoes, beans, minced tomatoes, reserved juice, and water. Bring the pot to a strong simmer.
8. In a separate small saucepan, heat the 1/4 cup olive oil on medium low.  Bloom the smoked paprika, chili flakes, oregano, bay leaves, and optional fennel seed by swirling the spices in the hot oil for a minute or two. 
9. Once bloomed, pour the spiced oil into the pot, and add the parsley stems and seared kielbasa. 

10. Simmer the soup until the liquid has reduced by an inch in the pot. You're going for a slightly thickened soup where the tomatoes have broken down and integrated nicely.
11. Taste for salt and add some fresh pepper to your liking. 
12. To finish the soup, stir in the greens until they're wilted. Swiss chard and kale will take longer to cook, so if using, you should add them while the soup is still simmering down.

Serve the soup with the grated cheese and parsley leaves, and garlic bread!

Bonus Recipe: Perfect Garlic Bread


  • 1 small pain au levain or sourdough boule or batard

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper


1.  Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees.

2. Slice bread in thick slices, almost all the way through to the bottom. Place on a large rectangle of foil, big enough to wrap the whole loaf in.

3. Melt butter in small sauce pan (use the one from blooming your spices for added flavors!)

4. Add garlic and swirl on medium low heat until garlic is aromatic and is slightly cooked. 

5. Using a pastry brush, apply the garlic butter on every sliced surface of the bread. 

6. Wrap in foil and place in oven for 15-20 minutes to heat through.