Soup for a Stormy Night
Kale, Mushroom, and Sausage Soup
There is a big storm due in Los Angeles tonight, and I have the perfect recipe to keep you warm; it worked for us during the last downpour. This soup is so thick and comforting, you could call it a stew or even pasta fagioli.
Parmesan cheese rind simmering in the soup give it a rich flavor and almost creamy texture. I use Parmesan cheese frequently, and ALWAYS save the hard outer layer. If you haven’t gotten into that habit, buy some cheese to grate into this batch of soup just before eating, then save the rind for next time. The rinds seem to hold up for ages in the refrigerator, and are a great resource during soup season.
The broth you made with the Thanksgiving turkey bones would add good taste here. Better to use it now than to loose track of it in the freezer. No worries if you’ve already consumed the broth or never made one, purchased low-sodium chicken broth works too.
The soup features ingredients I always have on hand: packaged broth, g-f pasta, sausages (in the freeze), canned beans and tomatoes, onions, carrots, and greens. More perishable than the other ingredients, I pick up a big bunch of kale or chard almost every time I shop. They are so healthful and colorful, I like to melt handfuls into soups, stews, sautés, frittatas, pasta sauces… If it’s too late for this storm, take this simple list to the market so you are prepared for the next rainy or snowy night.
Kale, Mushroom, and Sausage Soup
Makes 6 servings
This soup keeps well in the refrigerator, but it will thicken, so thin with more broth or water if desired.
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces chicken apple sausage links
3 carrots, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise
½ large red onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Big pinch of red pepper flakes
8 ounces crimini or button mushrooms, sliced
1 quart turkey broth or low-salt chicken broth or more as needed
1 15-ounce can organic white beans with their liquid
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 or 2 rinds from Parmesan cheese (any size will do, I used 2 small ones, they weighed about 2 ounces total and together measured about 2 x 3-inches), or freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ to 1 cup gluten-free rotini or fusilli pasta
½ bunch black kale, center ribs removed, sliced crosswise
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy pot or heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the sausages and cook until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sausages to a plate. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the carrots, onion, rosemary, and pepper flakes to the pot and sauté until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add 1 quart of broth, beans with their liquid, tomatoes, and Parmesan rind to the pot. Slice the sausages into ¼- to ½-inch thick rounds and add to the pot with any juices on the plate. Bring the soup to a boil, cover partially, reduce the heat and simmer until the broth is rich and flavorful, about 30 minutes.
Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Add the pasta and simmer uncovered until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and simmer until the kale and pasta are tender, about 5 minutes longer, thinning with more broth if too thick. Serve, grating Parmesan cheese over, if desired.