It’s finally Fall, and that means my giant red Le Creuset dutch oven gets a lot more playing time on the stove (this pot is an investment – but it will last you a lifetime and it’s worth it). The sound of my wooden spoon tapping the service of the ceramic pan calms my nerves. Soup doesn’t have to be complicated, but I do think it requires a bit more attention and love than some meals. So while it may not be cold here in Florida yet, it’s still the time of year where we find ourselves suddenly busier with school, homework, sports, holiday preparations (and in my house – 4 birthday celebrations) and sometimes you just need a bowl full of soup after a busy day to feed your soul. Yes, I realize I am one picture of a cute kitten away from a greeting card here with the sappy rhetoric – but I mean it. I take my soup very seriously.
Words of advice, I am not the best at measuring (this is why I do not bake all that often), so the amounts of ingredients in the recipe are approximates. If you like more kale, add more kale; if you don’t like chicken sausage, then eliminate it completely. It’s the method here that’s important.
Kale and White Bean Soup
1 bunch kale – stemmed and cut into roughly 1-inch pieces
1 – 15 oz. can cannellini beans – drained and rinsed (if you want to omit the sausage you could certainly add in another can of beans)
2-3 cups new potatoes – large chunks (or fingerling would work, you just don’t want to have to peel them)
3-4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium red onion (I prefer red, yellow works just as well)
4 cloves Garlic, crushed, minced or grated (more or less if you’d like)
2-3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, chopped
48 oz. chicken broth (if you don’t have enough chicken broth, make up the rest with water).
2-3 links Hot Italian Chicken Sausage, casing removed
Zest of 1 Lemon
1/2 cup of white wine (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Ciabatta bread, or any other crusty bread to serve with your soup
Parmesan cheese (Asiago or Pecorino works great here also) to grate over soup before serving
- Heat your dutch oven or soup pot to medium and brown the sausage (remember to squeeze it out of the casing, or use ground sausage). The chicken sausage I use has very little fat, so I don’t bother to remove and drain it before continuing the soup, but I DO remove it to saute the vegetables so the sausage doesn’t overcook. You may even need to add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan if there wasn’t enough fat released from cooking the sausage.
- Typically I start every soup with a mirepoix (this is the classic combination of carrots, celery and onion that is the base of many sauces and soups), but for this soup I just don’t feel the celery works. Saute the carrots and onions for about 5 minutes, then add in the garlic and saute for 5 minutes more.
- Add the chopped rosemary to the pan.
- Deglaze the pan with a couple of splashes with white wine (optional).
- Add the sausage back into the pan.
- Add in the potatoes. Before the liquid?! Yes, I like to add the potatoes in before the liquid to just brown them a tad; roughly 3-5 minutes.
- Add in the drained and rinsed beans.
- Fill the pot just enough to cover the ingredients with chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat down and simmer covered until the potatoes are tender.
- Add the chopped kale to the pot and gently stir it in to the liquid. Let it cook in the soup for about 5 min.
- Add the zest of one lemon to the soup just before serving, ladle into bowls and top with grated cheese of your choice.
I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I do and that it warms your soul (greeting card moment again – sorry).