My years living in New England helped me to fall in love with these ingredients. I probably have not made this soup in about two years, but the other day I came across some lovely kale, and I could not think of a better way to do it justice.
SAUSAGE KALE POTATO SOUP
1 pound sausage – I used sweet Italian, but hot Italian works as well. Chicken sausages work, but the fat in the sausage is a huge flavoring agent, so try to avoid. Remove casing and chop into bite sized pieces
1 cup diced onions
2 cloves minced garlic
1 large bunch of kale, washed trimmed to remove stems and cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup white wine
2 quarts chicken broth
Salt and pepper
Parmesan or romano cheese (simmering the soup with the rind or chunk of cheese instead of grated works great!)
1 pound small red potatoes – washed and sliced into pieces – you can also dice
1/2 cup lowfat or skim milk
Using a large stock pot, start to brown the sausage. Add onions and garlic and cook until they are just starting to soften, but not brown. Add the kale. Kale will have a lot of volume, but will cook down as you heat it. Mix all the ingredients well, cover the pot, and allow to sweat the vegetables for about three minutes. Remove lid, stir, and add the white wine to deglaze the pot. Add chicken broth and seasonings (hot sauce is optional, but I like a few dashes for flavor, not heat). If the volume of the soup is not “liquidy” enough, you can always add some water or more broth. Bring soup to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, taste soup to adjust any seasonings, and add the cheese and potatoes. Simmer for about 10-15 more minutes until potatoes are tender, but still have a little bit of bite – you don’t want them to disintegrate. Add the milk, taste to adjust seasonings one more time – and enjoy! Soup can be eaten immediately, but it also holds really well over a few days and the flavors develop well.