Those of you in the east may not be looking for a soup recipe because of the unseasonably warm temperatures you are experiencing; but the weather continues to be blustery in the Pacific Northwest and we needed a nice warm soup. Once again, I am working my way through the Whitewater Cooks with Friends cookbook by Shelley Adams. This White Bean, Spicy Italian, and Kale recipe caught my eye as we had a similar soup at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, CA. This recipe was a delightful blend of spices and warmth from the spiciness!
White Bean, Spicy Italian Sausage and Kale Soup
1 lb. dry white navy beans
4 oz. chunk of bacon, diced
4 spicy Italian sausages, uncooked
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cups onions, dice
2 cups carrots, grated
2 cups celery, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp of thyme, chopped
1 tsp of rosemary, chopped
½ tsp of chili flakes
½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
12 cups of low sodium chicken stock
5 cups of kale, de-stemmed and chopped
¾ cup Parmigianino Reggianno, grated
Rinse beans in a colander. Transfer beans to a heatproof bowl and cover with 8 cups of boiling water. Let soak for one hour.
Sauté bacon over medium high for 5 minutes. Squeeze sausage meat out of the casing directly into the same pan; break up meat with a fork and sauté until cooked. Place in colander and let the fat drain.
Heat olive oil to medium in a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot and sauté onions, carrots, and celery until softened. Add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Drain and rinse the beans in a colander and add to the stockpot. Add the cooked sausage and bacon, thyme, rosemary, red chili flakes, salt, pepper and the stock.
Turn up the heat to medium high and bring soup to a simmer. Cover pot with a lid and cook for 30 minutes or until beans are just tender. Add kale and cook until just wilted, about 3 minutes.
Serve and garnish with Parmigiana Reggianno.