Confession: I’m not a big fan of soup. Specifically, I don’t think soup counts as a meal. As a first course, or with a serious sandwich or salad, maybe. But in general “soup for dinner” is a big rip-off. It’s like a n0-cheese egg white omelet, not really food. However, there is one soup that I actually love. In fact, it’s almost addictive, that’s how good it is. It has vegetables, meat, pasta, and lots of flavor, so it’s a whole meal in itself (unlike most soups!). Try this out for a great supper on a cool fall night!
Italian Kale and Sausage Soup
1 lb Italian Sausage, casings removed
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 bunch kale (I prefer dinosaur or lacinto), chopped finely (I used my food processor to chop both onions and kale)
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
6 cups broth or stock (I generally use chicken, but beef or vegetable will work)
1 large (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, mostly drained (a little amount of liquid helps add flavor)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 14-oz cans of beans (I like to mix kidney and canellini), drained and rinsed well
1 1/2 cups small dry pasta (ditalini, shells, mini farfalle, etc.)
In large stockpot, brown sausage, breaking up with wooden spoon.
When sausage is fully cooked, remove to a large bowl and set aside for later.
Heat olive oil in stockpot, add onions, and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add kale, garlic, oregano, and thyme, and sautee 3-4 minutes, until kale is just beginning to wilt.
Add tomatoes, broth, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce, bring to a gentle boil.
Add beans, continue to boil gently for about 15 minutes.
Add pasta, cook until pasta is tender, about 8-10 minutes.
Taste the soup, and if needed, add salt and more lemon juice.
If starting the soup earlier in the day, just wait until the last 30 minutes to add the beans and the pasta.
This soup makes great leftovers, however the pasta will soak up a lot of the liquid, and so you can either eat it as a hearty pasta dish, or add some additional water or broth when reheating.