Recipe: Sausage, White Bean, and Kale Soup

Contributed by Capers Café & Take Home for the Second Annual Farm to Table Soups Fundraiser - November 12, 2011

Makes about 3 gallons.

Ingredients:

½ cup olive oil or other cooking oil
8 cups small-diced onions
3 cups small-diced celery
½ cup minced fresh garlic
5 pounds spicy breakfast sausage
1 ½ gallons homemade chicken stock
4 pounds small diced butternut squash (or other firm, flavorful orange squash)
1 tablespoon dried thyme or ½ bunch fresh thyme, stems removed
¼ cup or more kosher salt to taste (don’t be shy with the salt)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
10 cups cooked small white beans
1 gallon washed, stemmed, thinly sliced fresh greens, such as chard, kale, or spinach

Instructions:

Put the onions and oil in a large stockpot. Heat over medium heat and cook until the onions are translucent.

Add the celery, garlic, and sausage, and cook until the sausage is no longer pink (increase the heat if desired).

Add the stock, squash, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until the squash is just tender (about 5-10 minutes).

Add the white beans and bring to a boil. Add the greens and cook until the greens are wilted and tender (if using spinach just heat the soup with the beans, then remove from the heat and add the spinach at the very last minute).

Skim the soup to remove excess fat and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if desired.