This soup has become a favorite of Marlboro Man and TBP (Teenage Bottomless Pit). Now when I make it (which is becoming more and more often), I make sure I cook a LOT so I’ll have some left over.
The inspiration for this soup comes from our friend, Dale, who served it as a first course at a dinner party we attended over the holidays. Everyone raved over how delicious it was, but because he didn’t really follow a recipe, I’ve tried as best I can, to recreate what he could recall.
For this soup, I prefer to use “spicy” Italian sausage and then kick it up with some “chili garlic sauce”, but you make it however spicy “or not” that you prefer. You could also vary the ingredients…If you don’t have kale, you might use spinach instead. If you don’t want potatoes, leave them out. I like to keep small pieces of leftover parmesan cheese rinds in my freezer to add to soups. As the soup cooks, the cheese melts, giving the soup quite a delicious flavor. Give this soup a try on your family. I guarantee they’ll want you to make it again and again!
Inspiration by Dale Blankenship
- 3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 package Spicy Italian Sausage (usually 5-6 links)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes (can also use diced)
- 5 cups water
- 2 heaping tablespoons Better than Bouillon (chicken flavored)
- 2 teaspoons chili garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons italian seasoning
- 1 cup small red potatoes, cubed (about 1/2 inch cubes)
- 2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 bunch kale, chopped
- 1 small piece of parmesan rind (if desired)
Remove casings from sausage and slice into 1/2 inch pieces. Heat large heavy pot over medium-high heat (I use my dutch oven), and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When shimmering, add sausage and cook until browned on all sides. Remove sausage to a bowl and reserve. Wipe pot clean of all grease.
Lower heat to medium, add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and onion. Cook, stirring frequently until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute until fragrant. Add sausage, tomatoes, water, Better than Bouillon, chili-garlic paste, Italian seasoning, potatoes, & beans. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Add the piece of cheese rind, and let simmer for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are done. Add chopped kale, and cook another 10 minutes. Remove whatever is left of the rind, and serve the soup with a generous sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese on top.