I was inspired this time by watching The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network. She made this big pot of soup with kale and it seemed like just the right thing for fall, with its crisp air and changing moods. Also, half the office has been going through a wave of cold and flu so seemed like just the ticket to make us feel somewhat better. As always, I use the recipe as a loose base and make the rest my own. Garlic and basil just seemed like a must!
- 2 bunches kale, spines removed and chopped into small pieces
- 12 small gold potatoes, chopped small
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 1-1/2 pound Italian sausage
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
- dried oregano to taste
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 cups half-and-half
- 2 bay leaves
- big handful of basil, torn up
- 6 ounces shredded parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
Wash and prepare the kale and set it aside.
In a large pot, sauté onion and garlic for a few minutes over medium heat. Toss in the Italian sausage and brown well, turning up heat. Drain fat if needed. Stir in the red pepper flakes, oregano, bay leaves, chicken broth, milk, and half-and-half. Simmer covered for 30 minutes.
Give it a taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add the potatoes and kale. Simmer an additional 10-15 minutes, smashing the potatoes to make it thicker if desired. Turn off heat and add basil and cheese. Voila! Enjoy!