Bratwurst, Kale, and White Bean Soup

As I mentioned earlier this week, I bought a pound of kale at one of my local farmers markets here in Charlotte and it has been used in many, many ways! Quite possibly the best $2 produce purchase ever. Kale has been referred to as “one of the best foods we never eat.” Packed with vitamins and minerals, it receives limited fanfare in most kitchens. In fact, kale doesn’t get to actually see the inside of many kitchens. I have heard people tell me that kale is bitter or tough. It doesn’t have to be – try it again, taste test some different varieties and you might be surprised that kale isn’t so bad after all!

Before the weather warms up I wanted to make a soup using some of my locally grown kale and potatoes with my favorite bratwurst from NC pastured pigs. If we are going to eat some pork around here we like it be pastured as close to our own backyard as possible. This soup recipe is soup-er easy. (That’s probably only funny if you are five… my twins think I am a riot.)

Ingredients:
1/2 pound to 1 pound of bratwurst or your favorite sausage, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
About 1/2 pound of kale, chopped and tough stems removed
1 quart chicken broth
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
1 large can white beans, rinsed
Seasoned with … salt, pepper, 2 bay leaves, and nutmeg

Directions:

Cook bratwurst until done. Set aside. Our bratwurst is rather lean so there is really a very small amount of residual fat left in the pan. I use that little bit of rendered fat to saute the onion and garlic for a minute or two. Add the kale, potato, and cooked sausage. Add the broth and seasonings. Stir well. Simmer on low to medium low for about 40 minutes. Add the beans and cook on low for another ten minutes. Enjoy!

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