Friday, April 1, 2011

Sausage, Cannellini and Kale Soup


1-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped
1-1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 quart homemade or lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth
Two 15-oz. cans Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 
4 firmly packed cups Lacinato kale, center ribs removed, leaves chopped
1 Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (1x3 inches; optional)
1-1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ pound sweet or hot bulk Italian sausage, rolled into bite-size meatballs 
(I used hot sausage.  I removed the casing and used kitchen shears to cut the sausage into bite-sized pieces.  It made for quicker prep. I also went ahead and prepped one pound of the sausage and then froze half for making this soup later.)

Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 4- to 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 seconds. Add the broth, beans, kale, and Parmigiano rind (if using). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 Tbs. oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sausage meatballs, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Add the sausage to the soup and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook 5 minutes more to meld the flavors. Stir the cider vinegar into the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 430; Fat (g): 18; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): 5; Protein (g): 20; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9; Carbohydrates (g): 48; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3; Sodium (mg): 1160; Cholesterol (mg): 25; Fiber (g): 12;

Suggestions from reviewers:  add red pepper flakes; use chorizo instead of hot Italian sausage; use lemon juice to taste rather than vinegar; add 1/2 cup of dry Madeira; add grated Parmesan to the bowl prior to serving

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