I have a hate/love/love relationship with kale. For about forever I thought kale was only good as a sort of leafy doily for a slice of orange on a breakfast plate. Or as a decorative plant in a fall garden.
Then a Brazilian fellow I worked with introduced me to kale salad with onion, tomato, and a little vinegar, which he promised was good excellent for my kidney. Or maybe my liver. Or possibly my pancreas. My Brazilian Portuguese was pretty terrible and mostly we communicated with pointing and nodding. Nicest guy I ever worked with.
So I started thinking about kale as more than a garnish. And then once I tried a kale and bean soup, I was officially hooked.
As yesterday was a total washout I decided to make kale and turkey sausage soup. Well really I started it yesterday and finished it today. Yesterday I made vegetable stock because I can't seem to find a brand I like.
Today I began by cooking the kale for a few minutes in lightly salted water. While the water was boiling for the kale, I sauteed sweet turkey sausage in a bit of olive oil - the turkey sausage is from Diemand Farm and is perfectly seasoned already.
Once the kale was cooked, I drained it - reserving the cooking water. Without rinsing the pot, I put it back on the heat, added a splash of olive oil then dumped in about a half cup of sliced mushrooms, two chopped carrots, half a chopped onion, and a few chopped cloves of garlic. Cook that until light golden or so - sometimes I like to cook it darker if it is a really blustery day. Add in about a quart of vegetable stock. If it is unsalted stock, add in the kale cooking water if you like, or just add in plain water.
Add in the cooked kale and the browned turkey sausage and serve hot. With torn off pieces of crusty bread. And a glass of wine.
Vegetarians: This soup can be made without the sausage. Be sure to use a well seasoned alternative like Lightlife Chik'n SmartStrips. Or you can season the soup a little more and add in firm tofu chopped into very small dice.