Italian Kale & Sausage Soup

by Country Spoon

Beneath the snow and ice, kale still strives on through the long winter months.  Its bright green color, crunchy texture and savory flavor make kale the perfect addition to this hearty soup. Loaded with juicy tomatoes, carrots, cannellini beans and sausage make this vitamin packed soup sure to warm the soul.  Think Spring!

Italian Kale & Sausage Soup:

1 T. olive oil

4 links of Italian sausage

1 T. butter

2 medium yellow onions – chopped

3 cloves of garlic – minced

1 c. baby carrots – chopped

1/2 lb. kale – torn and tough stems removed

2 c. chicken or vegetable broth

1  28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes in juice

1  28 oz. can water

1  15 oz. can cannellini beans – drained and rinsed

In a heavy lidded deep pan or dutch oven, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat.  Add sausage links and saute until brown.  Remove from pan and set aside to cool.  Add 1 – 2 T. water to hot pan and use a rubber spatula to scrap the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.   Add 1 T. butter.  Once butter is melted, turn the heat down to low and add chopped onion and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes or until translucent.  Add carrots and continue to saute for about 2 more minutes.

Add 1 c. of chicken broth and half of the kale, covering the pan to allow the kale to wilt down.  Add the other 1 c. chicken broth and remaining kale until all is slightly wilted down and bright green in color, about 8 minutes.  Remove lid and add the can of whole peeled tomatoes.  I like to use San Marzano tomatoes in thick juice.  With your rubber spatula, press and break the tomatoes into quarters or smaller pieces.  Fill the whole tomato can with water, swishing around to get all the juice and add to the soup.

Slice sausage links and add to soup followed by cannellini beans.  Let soup simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes over low heat.   Serve hot with freshly cracked black pepper and shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese.