I enjoy soups but for some reason I don’t make them often. I don’t know why this is, as they are tasty and nutritious and usually make enough for at least two meals and a few lunches besides. I think it’s all the chopping — it always seems like such a process. And it IS. This Sausage Kale Soup took me about an hour to put together. But it makes a TON, and it’s so nice to fix it and forget it, ya know??
I found this recipe for Sausage & White Bean Soup with Kale on my friend Lydia’s site. Her recipes are generally very tasty as well as nutrient-dense (and always gluten-free!) I made a few modifications based on what I had in the house. Here’s how it came together.
Sausage Kale Soup
I started out by sautéing the onions, celery and carrots in some bacon grease that I had saved from a bacon-and-eggs breakfast earlier in the week until tender.
Meanwhile, I washed and chopped up the kale. (I love how this soup gets greens into our diets!)
Then I added that and some diced garlic to the veggies on the stove.
I didn’t have Parmesan or rosemary sprigs, so I just added some dried rosemary from my spice rack.
This is about the time that I realized I should have browned my sausage first. So I removed the veggies to a bowl and pulled out my sausage. I used Italian sausage, which gave the soup a nice heat. The kids thought it was a bit spicy for their tastes, so next time I might try a milder sausage. My husband and I liked it though! Actually so did my son. My daughters . . . notsomuch.
I crumbled it up in the pan and let it get nice and brown and happy.
While that was happening, I drained 2 cans of Northern White Beans. I never plan my dinner making far enough in advance to soak and cook dried beans.
I don’t really like to use canned anything for BPA concerns, but I make the exception with beans. Hush. Don’t tell me how bad they are for us. I don’t wanna know.
Then it was time to put everything together. I didn’t have homemade beef stock, so I used storebought. I like this Pacific brand; I keep it in the house at all times.
I actually used half storebought beef stock and half homemade chicken stock because I happened to have some on hand.
Then you just let it simmer for about an hour or until you are ready to eat.
I did not add the stick of butter, but here’s a funny thing. My 6-year-old was eating the soup (she wasn’t crazy about it, so she was just picking at it) and as she went to butter her muffin (my kids dubbed these Cookie Corn Muffins because they are so sweet and delicious!!) she suggested that she add butter to her soup.
It was totally random and out of the blue (yes, my kids love butter as much as I do!) because I hadn’t mentioned that I omitted it from the recipe. So I let her, of course! And she did eat it up after that! So next time, I might try adding HALF a stick to the pot — a whole stick seems like an awful lot, considering the fact that I sautéed the veggies in bacon grease. But hey, maybe I don’t know what I’m missing!
I’d also love to try it again with the Parmesan rind, and perhaps with some Parm grated on top as well. I’ll bet that adds a nice depth of flavor to the soup.
- olive oil or bacon grease for sautéing
- 1 lb sausage or kielbasa
- 2 15-oz cans organic white beans
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 4 carrots, peeled and diced small
- 4 stalks celery, diced small
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 quarts beef stock
- 1 wedge of parmesan rind
- 1 bunch kale, de-ribbed and minced
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 TBSP minced fresh thyme
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup butter (optional)
- fresh grated parmesan for sprinkling on finished soup (optional)
- Prepare sausage and set aside. I usually remove it from the casing, crumble and cook in a couple TBSP bacon grease or olive oil. You can also grill it and then slice or dice.
- Heat 2 – 3 TBSP oil or bacon grease in a large stock pot over medium heat. (You can use the same pot and leftover grease from the sausage, if you did the crumble method; in this case, you will want to remove the sausage and return it to the soup at the end.)
- Sauté the onions for 5 minutes or until soft; add carrots and celery and cook another 5 – 7 minutes until veggies are tender. You may need to reduce the heat to medium-low or low, depending on your stove.
- Add the kale and garlic and cook another 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add the stock, wedge of parmesan and the rosemary.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes.
- Add the thyme, sausage and butter; stir gently until the butter is melted.
- Remove the parmesan rind from the soup; salt and pepper to taste. Serve with freshly grated parmesan on top.