The past few mornings have been crisp–not quite cold enough to light off the wood stoves, but we’re wearing extra layers and slippers now. Autumn is here right on schedule, and with it, thankfully, is the first crop of kale. We were all getting pretty impatient for our first batch of kale soup (the original recipe from John Silveira is in Backwoods Home Cooking). My dad adjusted the recipe a bit to be slightly lower in fat, and I think it may be even better than the original recipe now.
6 cans vegetable stock
2 cans chicken stock
2 lbs. hot chicken or turkey sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large red onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
4 medium red potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup parsley, no stems, chopped.
1 1/2 – 2 lbs. kale, stems and all, cut into manageable pieces. Be sure to use the really curly-leafed kale, not the decorative type, which doesn’t taste nearly as good.
2 15-oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, liquid and all
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Throw it all into the biggest pot you can find. You may have to add the kale in batches, let it cook down a bit, then add more on top. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer until the potatoes and kale are tender (check the kale stems) and the kale is not bitter, about 30 minutes. Then add:
8 cloves garlic, minced (garlic lover here–I put in a whole bulb)
8 to 12 ozs. elbow macaroni
Continue to simmer until the macaroni is done. You may need to add more liquid if the soup seems too thick.