It seems like every third person has a cold right now (though I've so far made it through unscathed), which, besides being a highly profitable time for tissue companies, means it's chicken soup season. Last weekend my wife was in the throes of a particularly nasty head cold, and she requested a hot bowl of chicken elixir "as thoon as bossible." I always try to make homemade stock when soup is meant as medicine (which is actually pretty quick and painless if you use a pressure-cooker), and that becomes a nice traditional soup with root vegetables and egg noodles. After that, though, I set out to find a twist on chicken soup to use up the leftover stock.
I found this recipe in Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food. Waters layers big flavors like caramelized onion, browned crumbled sausage, and kale on top of the homemade chicken broth. It's deeply satisfying. The sausage gives it a richer, meatier taste and the kale is earthy and sweet. Covered with a cloud of Parmesan and a hit of black pepper, it's just sharp enough to wake up the palate of even the most clogged-up diners.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound pork sausage, casings removed
- 2 medium onions, sliced thin
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large bunch kale, stems removed and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
- 1 pound waxy potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, peeled and sliced thin
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until crumbled and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
Add onion and cook until soft and beginning to brown, 10-12 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes more. Add kale, potatoes, and reserved sausage, along with a couple pinches of salt. Cook about three minutes longer, then add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer until the kale and potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide into bowls and top with fresh black pepper and grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.