It's shocking how easy and fast it is to make this rustic and hearty soup. Seriously, ask my sister. Even she said, "wow, that really took you no time at all." In addition to being quick to make, the soup is packed with kale and white beans for a healthy winter meal.
I used chicken sausage because it's lighter, but feel free to use Italian sausage or drizzle good quality extra-virgin olive oil at the end if you'd like a little more fat in the dish. And since I like my food on the spicy side, I added jalapeno but feel free to leave that out or add some red chile flakes for a more subtle heat. The soup has a somewhat thick consistency because the beans are mashed with a potato masher, so it's a great idea to serve it with some thick country bread to sop up the juices at the bottom of the bowl.
- Yield:Serves 3 to 4
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:25 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup chopped shallots (about 1 large shallot)
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely hopped (about 2 tablespoons) or 1 teaspoons dried red chile flakes (optional)
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ pound chicken, turkey, or pork Italian sausage, removed from the casing
- 2 cups homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken broth
- ½ bunch kale, stems removed and leaves cut into ribbons (about 4 cups)
- 1 (15-oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed juice from 1 lime or lemon
- Fresh picked parsley leaves, for garnish
Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shallots, jalapeno (if using), and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the thyme, garlic, and dried herbs and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it loses its pink color, about 4 minutes.
Add the broth, kale, and beans and raise the heat to bring to a simmer. Fold in the kale until it starts to wilt. Using a potato masher, smash some of the beans to thicken the broth. Cover and allow to cook until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes longer. Remove the thyme stems and discard. Stir in the lime or lemon juice, season to taste with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.