Kitchen Experiment: Kale Soup With Italian Sausage

There are a million recipes for kale soup on the Internet – make that a million and one now.

Kale is one of those foods that you ought to find a way to like – ounce for ounce, it is one of the best foods you can eat. No, you can’t live on it exclusively, but it’s one of those veggies that have a high nutrient density.

Problem is: kale can be a bit of a challenge to cook in a fashion that people served it will tear into with gusto.

I’ve been looking for a kale recipe that might work like this for me – partly because I have completely given up vitamins. More on that in a later post, but I need to introduce more yummy, vitamin-rich foods into my diet. Kale – ranked on the ANDI scale at the top of the list (and more on the ANDI scale in a future post as well) is one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there.

But how to get past the ‘yuck factor’? I’ve made kale chips – they’re great, but not an everyday thing.

So, after checking out a half-dozen recipes, I came up with this one. My wife expressed concern at first that I was about to waste a pot full of food, but afterward, asked me to put it on our weekly ‘Sunday cooking list’. My older daughter also, voluntarily, went back for more, and deemed it tasty.

The trick here was the use of an immersion blender, which makes the amount of cutting a much less exact and time-consuming task – remember this as you read the instructions.

Kale Soup With Italian Sausage

  • 2 bunches kale
  • 2 Italian sausages
  • ¾ stick butter
  • 2 sweet onions, cut in large chunks
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 boxes chicken broth
  • 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil

In a frying pan, fry the onions in the butter until some are browned. Then brown the sausages, not cooking completely. grind some pepper on them. What you’re looking for here is some of that ‘roasted’ flavor that adds another dimension of flavor.

Cut the kale crosswise. Other than cutting off the very ends of the stems, use them, cutting like scallions. Cut the rest crosswise.  Toss in soup pot, cover with the onions fried in butter and put in 2 boxes of chicken broth. Season with maybe 2 teaspoons of thyme. 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Be careful with the thyme – I almost overdid it. Start with 1 teaspoon as the recipe notes, then maybe add more – you can’t take out spices.

Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Add the 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil at this point. Using an immersion blender, blend. The immersion blender is excellent at getting clogged with the long stringy bits of the kale, so it works great to remove this if it offends you. Just remove the immersion blender, unplug (so you don’t end up in the ER from this process), and remove the long, stringy bits stuck in the blades of the immersion blender that the fussy eaters will not approve of. Repeat this process a few times and you will have most of the stringy stuff that you could have spent HOURS trying to remove from the kale leaves removed in about 5 minutes.

I myself was quite surprised by the result. Maybe you will, too.

Nothing here that isn’t induction-friendly, so if you’re doing that, this should fit fine into your diet.

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3 thoughts on “Kitchen Experiment: Kale Soup With Italian Sausage

  1. I was looking for a recipe like this. I thought about just making the “olive garden” zuppa tuscana without the potatoes…and really, this is it! I may add a clove or two of garlic but I’m so glad I don’t have to be the guinea pig here! Thanks

  2. FYI: When cleaning kale, fold in half and cut out the long, stringy stem. Then you don’t have to keep pulling out of the immersion blender.

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