Andouille & Kale Soup

by Joe Thomas

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I made one of my favorite meals last night, a soup with andouille sausage, kale, navy beans, and potatoes, and had a lot of requests for the recipe, so I thought I’d share it with you. It’s derived from this recipe. I’m usually reluctant to share recipes with people; it’s like when a magician tells you how he does his tricks (sorry, GOB, I mean ILLUSIONS). But what the hell, here we go:

INGREDIENTS:

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 package of andouille sausage (I usually use the Thomas brand Ragin’ Cajun from Kroger) , split along the length and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 onion, diced
3 small or 2 medium red-skinned potatoes, skin left on and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch (about 1 lb) kale, chopped into thin ribbons (This can be a little labor intensive. I usually cut the leafy part away from the spine and then bunch up the leaf and cut it into ribbons. They don’t have to be the same size.)
4 cups chicken broth
1 Tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 cans navy beans (for lower sodium, drain and rinse the beans before adding to the soup)
Salt and pepper to taste

Set a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot (make sure it doesn’t burn!), add the sausage and sauté until the sausage is fully cooked; firm to the touch and a dark red color. Remove the sausage and drain on a paper towel.

Reduce heat to medium and add the onion. Sauté until the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes) and then add the potatoes. Sauté until the edges of the potatoes are starting to turn transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth and the kale to the pot. Stir to coat everything with chicken broth and then cover the pot with a lid. Stir the kale every three minutes until it is barely tender, adding more broth as needed if the pot becomes dry, about 12 minutes total.

Add the rest of the broth, thyme, oregano, and bay leaf. If the veggies aren’t quite covered, add extra broth or water. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium, add the sausage and white beans, and simmer until the kale is completely tender and the potatoes are cooked through (I give it at least 20 minutes).  Remove bay leaf. You probably won’t need to add any salt because of the sausage and the beans, but give it a taste for seasoning anyway.

I like to serve this with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese on top and a crusty slice of bread to sop up the broth at the bottom of the bowl. I’ve also served it with cornbread which works just as well. It’ll serve 4-6 people. Enjoy!

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