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Kale and Potato Soup

Generous measures of kale and beans make this soup filling enough to serve as a main course, accompanied by whole-grain bread. Using a modest amount of sausage deepens the soup’s flavor; vegetarians can replace it with meatless sausage or smoked tofu. Portuguese linguiça or chorizo is traditional, but using low-fat turkey kielbasa imparts the same smoky, spicy flavor with less fat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale, about 3/4 lb. 
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped  
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 1 yellow-fleshed potato such as Yukon Gold, about 1/2 lb., cut into 1-inch pieces 
  • 2 oz. low-fat turkey kielbasa, sliced 
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes 
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, or more, to taste 
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 

Directions:

Remove the tough stems from the kale leaves and cut the leaves crosswise into strips 1/2 inch wide. You will have about 5 cups.

In a Dutch oven or other large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the kale strips, potato, kielbasa, red pepper flakes and salt. Pour in the water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the kale is almost tender, about 20 minutes.

Add the beans and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Ladle the soup into warmed soup bowls and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).