Not much in our books. We really couldn't be more happy to have soup season on us again and this soup was a great way to kick it off.
This soup is super simple to make and, despite that fact it doesn't have a huge list of ingredients, it's full of flavor. The trick is to use good beans and sausage, both of which give a lot of flavor to the broth. We used Ranch Gordo Yellow Indian Woman Beans, which is a small bean that retains it shape while cooking yet still gets creamy on the inside. They have a rich, earthy flavor. You want to make sure the sausage is well spiced, some brands can be a little bland (which is why we started making our own). If yours is, add a little extra fennel and garlic with the red pepper flakes to the broth. A good dose of seasonal kale ups the healthy quotient.
Sausage, Bean and Kale Soup
(I use dried beans, but you can used can beans if you wish and cut the first simmering time to 30 minutes.)
1 c dried yellow Indian woman beans (or white beans)
1 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz bulk Italian sausage
1/4 t crush red pepper flakes (skip if you use a spicy Italian sausage)
1 T tomato paste
1 bay leaf
5 c chicken stock
4 oz fresh kale, roughly chopped
Rinse the beans. Put them in a pot or crock pot with about 3 cups water. Simmer for about 2 hours until almost tender. Drain.
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion becomes translucent. Add the sausage and cook through. Stir in the red pepper flakes and tomato paste. Add the bay leaf and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
Remove the cover. Taste the broth and add salt as needed. Add the kale and simmer uncovered until tender, about 30 more minutes.
Makes 5 - 6 servings.
What soup is fall making you crave?
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