(*original recipe calls for kale, which we didn't have so we used spinach)
1-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (1-1/2 cups)
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped (3/4 cup)
1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
1-1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 large cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
1 quart homemade or lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth
Two 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
6 oz. Lacinato kale, center ribs removed, leaves chopped (about 4 firmly packed cups)
1 Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (1x3 inches; optional)
1-1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 lb. sweet or hot bulk Italian sausage, rolled into bite-size meatballs
Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 4- to 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 seconds. Add the broth, beans, kale, and Parmigiano rind (if using). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 Tbs. oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sausage meatballs, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Add the sausage to the soup and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook 5 minutes more to meld the flavors. Stir the cider vinegar into the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper.
The broth was so good. We used homemade chicken stock, and that may have been why. This soup was easy, inexpensive, and really tasty.
The next time we make we're going to make a few changes:
- andouille sausage. We used mild Italian and the soup could have used a little more flavor. Plus I don't like fennel at all, which the Italian sausage had in it.
- um, kale, as the recipe calls for, if we can find it anywhere.
- possibly dried beans instead of canned.
Variations:To serve 1 vegetarian and 3 meat lovers: Use vegetable broth for the soup. Reduce the sausage to 1/2 lb. and cook the meatballs in the same fashion. After stirring the cider vinegar into the soup and seasoning to taste, set aside 1-3/4 cups of the soup for the vegetarian before adding the meatballs.
Calories (kcal): 430; Fat (g): 18; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): 5; Protein (g): 20; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9; Carbohydrates (g): 48; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3; Sodium (mg): 1160; Cholesterol (mg): 25; Fiber (g): 12;