It’s been a relatively warm autumn here and our neighbor’s garden is still producing kale. She had kindly brought some by a few months ago and I made this lovely soup out of some Italian sausage we had in the freezer and some rice and lentils we had on hand. I wasn’t expecting much, but the soup turned out to have that rare combination of being hearty and light at the same time.
Our neighbor mentioned the other day that the kale is still going strong, and so she invited us over to grab some more before the first frost. It’s a good thing too, because it snowed the following day. I decided this time to perfect the recipe and use some of my homemade stock and some fresh sausage from a local farm. The result is a rich and flavorful soup that’s not too heavy. I know this one was a winner because my husband had seconds.
Sausage and Kale Soup – serves 6 – 8
1/2 C long grain white converted rice
1/2 C dry red lentils
1 C water
6 Italian sausages
1 bunch (15-20 leaves) of kale, spines removed and chopped into 1 -2 inch squares
8 C vegetable or chicken stock
Salt to taste
Remove sausage from the casings and form pieces about 1 inch in size. Brown in a skillet over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Drain fat and set aside.
In a large stockpot combine vegetable stock, kale and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly simmer rice and lentils in water, covered for 10 minutes until not quite cooked through.
Combine all ingredients in the large stockpot with the kale. Season to taste.
Simmer for an additional 5 – 10 minutes. Serve hot.
Ingredient origins: Organic kale – neighbor’s garden, Converted rice – Texas, Organic lentils – California, Italian sausage – Maine, vegetable stock – my own kitchen from water and vegetables trimmings of mostly local organic veggies.