Kale Soup and the Sausage

I dedicate this post to Johnny Hepburn of ” feedthepiglet.wordpress.com ” whose take on soup never fails to amaze me as I look on and imagine the layers of taste constituted by him therein.  He is a superb soup maker.

First, however, I start off rambling on quite a bit about the merits of salt in the kitchen  — so if you want to skip this part, do by all means go straight to where the photos start.

This recipe was actually suggested to me by my favourite vegetable stall man at Frascati’s covered market.  He would have added potatoes to it as well but as we were having potatoes as a side dish for the main course, I opted for toasted bread instead.  He also highly recommended the inclusion of squash/pumpkin but it’s not at all a favoured vegetable in my family circle (sigh) and so I omitted it in order to keep the family ties strong (brussel sprouts are never seen on our table for the same reason, more is the pity for me).


Sausage,  pancetta and/or guanciale (pork jowl), and anchovies …these are the three/four ingredients that bestow layers of taste in many any Italian recipe.  And salt of course.  And salt is now, also of course, the cheapest of these ingredients.  Not so in the past, however, salt used to be a most precious commodity:  http://www.cantforget.it/news/cervias-crystal-heritage.html.

Friends take the Mickey out of me because I never go anywhere without a little stash of salt in my handbag.  They tease and mock but I’ve noticed that in the end, they always ask me, “Hey Jo, pass me your salt will you …” when we are out somewhere and the food has not been cooked by Mr Perfect Cook.  I mostly use French Atlantic salt, if you want to know, the kind known as sel de Guérande, or “grey salt”.  The kind of salt that not only tastes lovely but is actually good for you.  But also the salt from Cervia and Maldon salt. Perish the ordinary table salt that has been “dried” using chemicals that your gut would have trouble dealing with, with an addition of aluminium that, as we all do know now, is not conducive to good health.  My mother told me how, when we were growing up in the very early sixties in Karachi, the doctor would worry about us not having ENOUGH salt intake and used to prescribe salt pills to make up for the side effects of excessive perspiration.  All this to say that I am not at all fearful of salt intake … only of bad-quality salt intake … and that chefs whose cooking classes I attended (not many but enough!) always underscored the importance of salt for good taste.  No salt, no taste — even where some sweet recipes and desserts are concerned.

INGREDIENTS: Kale, 2 Italian sausages (skinned) plus 2 more unskinned, carrot, celery, garlic, tomto paste, beans of your choice, I used Lamon beans (fagioli di lamon), tomato sauce (passata).  Olive oil, bread …

IMG_4040 IMG_4041

The idea is to wilt the kale in plenty of water and then remove the kale.  Set Aside the kale and do not throw this water away!

IMG_4042 IMG_4047 Skin two of the sausages …IMG_4048 Dice the carrot and celery stick and garlic (soffritto) and cook for a few minutes in a nice clay pot if you have one (if you don’t, it really doesn’t matter) with  a good amount of olive oil.IMG_4049 Add the skinned sausage and let them sweat and cook too …
And, finaly, add a spoonful of tomato paste.IMG_4051Roughly chop the cooked kale.
IMG_4052 Add it to the mix and stir well …IMG_4053 And now add the previously cooked beans.  Add some salt and pepper at this stage.IMG_4054 Time to add some tomato sauce to the mix.  Again, mix well.  Cook for about 5 minutes in all, I suppose.  Now add the water that the kale had cooked in and simmer …IMG_4055 Pierce the other two sausages …IMG_4056 IMG_4057 Add them to the mix.  Simmer the soup for as long as it takes.  To be honest, I really can’t remember … let us say 20-30 minutes?  You really can’t go wrong when making soups like this …IMG_4077 Toast some bread and drizzle some lovely oil over it.  Sprinkle some salt too (aha! gotcha!). Place the toated bread on the bottom of the soup plate.IMG_4078Pour the soup over the bread.  Add freshly grated pecorino cheese and, for those who like it, a nice twist of pepper.IMG_4079 Mountainously good …IMG_4080

A fabulous soup “mound”.  Healthy, inexpensive, most slurpy and delicious.

PS Add the sausage too, naturally!  cut it up into rounds …


About myhomefoodthatsamore

Community celebration via food, wine and all beautiful things.
This entry was posted in Herbs and plants, italian home food, Soups, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Kale Soup and the Sausage

  1. Libby Morris says:

    Looks delicious, Jo! I think I’ll make it this weekend… we love a good soup!

  2. Wow, this is a wonderful mound. Couldn’t agree with you more regarding Johnny and his soups! Off the charts. I have made a few following his instructions verbatim and unlike anything I could possibly come up with have been in soup heaven. Love your soup here, and will give it a go. Especially interested in your clay pot too. Nice post.

    • Thank you so much for your kind comments, I really appreciate it and it makes me happy when I know that someone might enjoy food the way I like it. Meaning … I suppose … that it makes me happy knowing that my food can make people happy. We should encourage Johnny to write a book on soups …

  3. I’m not a soup person, but this looks great! I love cavolo nero. You are right that some restaurant chefs underseason. I just ask for salt when that happens.

  4. slvrhawk2014 says:

    I love kale, I love sausage, I love this soup!

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