I was challenged by our organic box this week when we got kale. I have never cooked with nor, as far I know, eaten kale so it was quite a challenge. From all the googling it seemed like the best and the safest way to cook it for a first was in a soup. So I took a few recipes I saw online and created this Italian version of a classic Portuguese soup.
Who knew kale was so bitter at the early stages of it’s cooking? I really liked it though, especially with the combination of the fennel in the sausage, yum! It also held up really nicely in the soup – not falling apart like spinach would’ve. Since this is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging I did a little reading on kale. We all know it is highly nutritious but what I found really interesting is that it is supposed to freeze well – truly making it the perfect addition to all these winter soups and stews. It was also quite easy to prep. I washed it then took my knife and quickly ran it down each side of the spine and discarded it. What am I not sure of is whether one ever uses the stalks?
[print_this]Kale, Sausage and White Bean Soup Recipe
1 lb italian turkey sausages
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small potatoes, peeled and diced (use a boiling potato)
1 liter chicken stock
1 can tomatoes, with juice
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed or 1.5C dried and cooked white beans (I used kidney beans)
1 lb kale, washed, stems removed and roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Saute the sausages in a frying pan until cooked through. Piercing as needed to release the fat. Remove from the pan and allow to cool enough to slice into 1/3″ slices. Set aside.
In your soup pot put the olive oil over medium low heat. Add onions, carrots and garlic and cook for 5 to 8 minutes until its starts to soften and become fragrant – don’t let the garlic brown. Add the stock and potatoes and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice and the beans. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Add the sausage and kale and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the kale is tender. Taste for seasoning and serve with well buttered hearty bread. ( I added about 1T of salt and a healthy amount of pepper.)[/print_this]