Monday, December 1, 2008
Sausage Kale Soup (or Mel's Minestrone)
I spent way to much time searching through cookbooks and the internet for the perfect minestrone recipe. My requirements weren't too rough: 1)It contains link sausage 2)It has kale 3)I don't have to buy things like zucchini--however carrots and potatoes were ok to need to buy. 4)It also has pasta and cannellini (white) beans. Aaaahh...the joys of trying to cook while pregnant....very definite ideas of what I need to eat tonight emerge quickly. Amazingly enough, in my searching, I couldn't find a recipe that fit my demands (I hate it when that happens). It did dawn on me that maybe what I was looking for wasn't really minestrone soup at all, but I thought it should be called that.
Saute 1/2 chopped onion and one link (about 3 oz) of mild Italian sausage in a soup pot until sausage is browned. Add 2 chopped carrots and saute briefly before adding 1 c tomato juice and 4 - 5 cups chicken/turkey broth. If you have the rind (the hard part you can't eat) off of Parmesan cheese, throw that in now too. Simmer for 20 minutes (or longer). Add 2 c (one 15-oz can) cannellini beans and continue to simmer. About 10 minutes before serving, add a bunch of chopped kale and 1/4 - 1/3 c small pasta (like small shells or orzo). Remove the parmesan rind and serve hot.
I used my turkey broth from my skinny turkey. It was all the seasoning the soup needed! The flavor was incredible. Assuming you aren't using broth made from a chicken/turkey stuffed with sage and rosemary aromatics, you will want to season it a little---possibly a sage leaf or two thrown in and a rosemary sprig when you add the liquid or a different route completely--the classic oregano/basil/thyme seasonings would work great too.
The family loved it. As it is to be expected now, on the first bowl J ate everything but the kale. For the second bowl he picked out the sausage first and then ate some of the beans/pasta/carrots. M ate two bowls as well---excluding the kale from both. With so little sausage, it was quite exciting for both kids to find some sausage in their bowls. I found I didn't need a lot of sausage to get a lot of flavor. Curtis and I also had a couple of bowls and I was sad to relinquish the leftovers to his lunch tomorrow.