I’ve been kind of obsessed with kale lately. I find it a little bitter by itself, but I’ve been trying to work it into different recipes and rather than just hiding it in things. It adds so much amazing flavor, especially in soups, and it’s a wonderful leafy green to add to cooked dishes since it holds its form and doesn’t get soggy. On top of that, apparently it’s one of the healthiest foods on the planet; here is a top ten list of its health benefits, according mindbodygreen.com:
1. It’s low calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat.
2. It’s high in iron
3. It’s high in Vitamin K
4. It’s filled with powerful antioxidants.
5. It’s a great anti-inflammatory food
6. It’s great for cardiovascular support
7. It’s high in Vitamin A.
8. It’s high in Vitamin C.
9. It’s high in calcium.
10. It’s a great detox food.
Can’t really argue with that resume! Lately, I’ve been putting it in soups and if you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I made this smittenkitchen soup back in February; I’ve craved soup with kale since then.
This particular one has a couple surprising ingredients, so keep reading to find out what they are!
Do you have any favorite kale recipes? I’d love to hear about them!
Like most things I cook, this starts with garlic and onion.
I haven’t used dried beans all that much, but this was the perfect soup to use a colorful mixture of legumes.
Secret ingredient #1? A parmesan cheese rind. Yup.
Salt, bay leaf, dried rosemary, black pepper.
The star of the show!
LOVE all these colors.
Sausage, Bean, and Kale Soup
– 8 oz dried assorted soup beans
– 3 spicy sausage links
– 2 Tbls olive oil
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
– 3 cups chicken stock
– 2 cups water
– 2 tsp salt
– 1 tsp pepper
– 1 bay leaf
– 1/2 tsp rosemary
– 1 2-inch square piece of a Parmesan cheese Rind (secret ing. #1!)
– 1 large sweet potato, cut into small squares (secret ing. #2!)
– 2 1/2 cups chopped kale
1. Rinse the beans, place them in a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and let sit for 45-60 minutes.
2. While beans are soaking, grill or pan fry the sausage links until no longer pink inside. Slice into 1/4 inch pieces and set aside.
3. Cook onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until fragrant and translucent. Cooking the onions slower will produce a much better flavor than scorching them on a higher heat (like my impatient self is tempted to do).
4. Add chicken stock, water, salt, pepper, bay leaf, rosemary, cheese rind, and sweet potato.
5. Drain and rinse the beans, and add them as well. Stir, and simmer for about 40 minutes, until beans are tender.
6. Add sausage and kale and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper as desired.
The sweet potatoes give a lovely color, as well as a rounded out sweetness and depth to the broth. Also, this soup definitely gets better with time, so I would say it’s at its peak taste around the second day after it’s made.