After reading Dana's post earlier this week on cavolo nero kale, we started craving this favorite kale and sausage soup. Made even more satisfying with creamy white beans and potatoes, this is exactly what we need on these crisp autumn afternoons!
We leave most of the ribs in our kale because we like the crunch it adds to the soup. If this isn't your style, feel free to remove them.
Hearty Kale and Sausage Soup Serves 4-6
2 teaspoons olive oil 4 links linguica, chorizo, or other spicy sausage, split along the length and sliced 1/2-inch thick 1 onion, diced 3 small or 2 medium red-skinned potatoes, skin left on and diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 bunch (about 1 lb) kale, preferably cavolo nero, halved and chopped into thin ribbons 4 cups chicken broth 1 Tablespoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 bay leaf 1 rind Parmesan or Pecorino cheese (optional, but so good!) 1 can white beans, like navy, cannellini, or Great Northern, drained and rinsed Salt and pepper to taste
Set a dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the sausage and sauté until the sausage is golden brown on all sides. Remove the sausage and drain on a paper towel.
Reduce heat to medium and add the onion. Sauté until the onion is translucent and then add the potatoes, about five minutes. Sauté until the edges of the potatoes are starting to turn transparent, about five minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth and the kale to the pot. Stir to coat everything with chicken broth and then cover the pot with a lid. Stir the kale every three minutes until it is barely tender, adding more broth as needed if the pot becomes dry, about 12 minutes total.
Add the rest of the broth, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, cheese rind, and 2 teaspoons of salt. If the veggies aren't quite covered, add extra broth or water. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until the kale is completely tender and the potatoes are cooked through. Add the sausage and white beans. Remove bay leaf and cheese rind. Taste for seasonings and salt.
Serve this soup in individual bowls with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese on top and a crusty slice of bread to sop up the broth at the bottom of the bowl.