Both of these simple soups, which can be on the table in less than half an hour, are a reminder of just how delicious peasant cooking can be. I’ve had both in Maine diners, but I really think the homemade versions are best. Add some chewy artisan bread and a tomato or mixed lettuce salad, and you’ve a scrumptious supper.


This soup is hearty, filling, inexpensive and utterly delicious. Sometimes kidney beans are included, but I love the simpler combination of starchy potatoes, pleasantly bitter kale, and the punch of garlicky sausage. You can peel the potatoes or leave the skins on.

Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ pound garlicky pork sausage, such as chourico, linguica or kielbasa, thinly sliced


1 large onion, chopped

4 cups chicken broth

1½ pounds all-purpose or Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced

1 small bunch (about 1 pound) kale, thickest stems removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large saucepan or soup pot, heat the oil. Add sausage and onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sausage browns lightly and onion softens, about 5 minutes.


Add broth, potatoes, kale, and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for about 25 minutes until the potatoes are very soft and the kale is tender. Use a large fork or whisk to break up some of the potatoes against the side of the pot to thicken the soup. Adjust liquid, adding more broth or water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Avgolemono means “egg and lemon” in Greek, and this soup, thickened with egg and seasoned with lemon, is tasty nourishment in a bowl. It’s often what I cook for any family member who is feeling peaked or in need of a quick, easy fix of comforting food. You can make it more substantial with shredded chicken.

Serves 8 as a first course, 4 as a main course

8 cups chicken broth

1 cup dried orzo or ½ cup raw long-grain rice


3 eggs

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

In a large soup pot, combine broth and orzo or rice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the starch is tender, about 10 minutes for orzo, 20 minutes for rice.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the lemon juice until smooth. Whisk about a cup of hot liquid into the egg mixture, then slowly and gradually whisk the egg mixture into the gently simmering soup, stirring until the soup achieves a smooth, velvety, lightly thickened consistency, 2 to 3 minutes.


Season the soup with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “Chowderland: Hearty Soups & Stews with Sides and Salads to Match.” She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula, and can be contacted via Facebook at:

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