Shabby Chic Kale, Potato and Sausage Soup

This yummy soup is a modern riff on a traditional Portuguese dish. The pureed beans give the broth a great texture and add some extra nutrition, and sweet little chicken and apple sausages are a tasty alternative to chorizo. Serve with crusty bread.

Shabby Chic Kale, Potato and Sausage Soup

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced*
3 garlic scapes, sliced thin
1 bag Rote Erstling potatoes (1.75 pounds)
1 15.5-oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bunch kale
1 12-oz. package fully cooked mini chicken and apple sausages (Garden of Eden sells Aidells, which are good)
Pinch of salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion, celery and garlic scapes along with a pinch of salt, and sweat for about 10 minutes.

Puree the beans with the water in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Halve the potatoes lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 1/3-inch slices. I don’t like to peel them, but if you strongly object to a few potato skins floating in your soup, you should.

Strip the kale from its thick stems, coarsely chop, and wash thoroughly but do not dry.

Add the potatoes, pureed bean mixture, chicken stock and thyme to the pot, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and partially cover so the soup is simmering gently. Simmer for about 3 minutes, until the potatoes are almost tender. Add the kale and continue to simmer until the potatoes are tender and the kale is cooked, just a few minutes more.

While the soup is cooking, brown the sausages in a small frying pan with a touch of olive oil, for 8 minutes or according to the package directions. Add the sausages to the soup at the end of cooking, along with lots of freshly ground black pepper (and salt if you’ve used homemade chicken stock, but not if you’ve used a box of broth) and serve.

* Or not. You’ll notice I do a lot of cooking with whatever I have in the house. The celery was from our chicken salad lunch. Soup is a great place to toss in whatever you have or omit what you don’t – it’ll still taste good!

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