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Italian Sausage, Bean & Kale Soup

Continuing with my soup obsession of late, the most recent soup I made was another one by the folks over at Fine Cooking. This one was also pretty quick to prep and pretty quick to put together. I have to apologize in advance for the lack of photos; a playdate’s mom came to pick up her daughter and got me chatting right in the middle of cooking. Before I even realized what was happening the soup was almost finished. But, this isn’t brain surgery here so I’m pretty sure you can figure it out without my photos.

This hearty Tuscan-style soup is full of flavor. The original recipe called for Lacinato kale (also called dinosaur or black kale) , but I couldn’t find anything like this around (and my local grocers have pretty good produce departments.) It said that any variety of kale will work. The original recipe also said to roll the sausage into bite-sized meatballs. While I’m sure this is a nice touch, I simply didn’t have time to do this and I don’t think the soup suffered any. I also chose not to add the cider vinegar, as none of my family are big vinegar lovers.

This recipe is easily adaptable to serve meat-lovers and vegetarians alike: see the variation to serve one vegetarian, below.

Italian Sausage, Bean & Kale Soup

Original recipe from Fine Cooking, Issue, December 30, 2009. Adapted (slightly) by Crafty Farm Girl, September, 2011.

Serves 4

1-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (1-1/2 cups)
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped (3/4 cup)
1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
1-1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 large cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
1 quart homemade or lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth
Two 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
6 oz. kale, center ribs removed, leaves chopped (about 4 firmly packed cups)
1 Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (1×3 inches; optional)
2/3 lb. sweet or hot bulk Italian sausage (I used a combination of sweet and hot combined)
1-1/2 tsp. cider vinegar (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Assemble your ingredients before you start cooking. I forgot the cannellini beans in this photo!

Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 4- to 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 seconds. Add the broth, beans, kale, and Parmigiano rind (if using). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 Tbs. oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sausage meatballs, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Add the sausage to the soup and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook 5 minutes more to meld the flavors. Stir the cider vinegar into the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve 1 vegetarian and 3 meat lovers: Use vegetable broth for the soup. Reduce the sausage to 1/2 lb. and cook the meatballs in the same fashion. After stirring the cider vinegar into the soup and seasoning to taste, set aside 1-3/4 cups of the soup for the vegetarian before adding the meatballs.

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  1. kimberly oneill says:

    This looks delish.
    Just printed the recipe… Dad will love it.

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