Potato Kale Soup with Pasture-Raised Sausage
1 quart of banana fingerling potatoes
4 or 5 Italian sausage links
1 cup braising liquid (water or part of the chicken stock)
2 quarts chicken stock
1 bunch of kale
2 cloves of garlic
1 minced carrot
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon oregano
Turn the heat up to medium high under a cast iron skillet. Lay about a pound of Italian sausage links in the pan. Without stirring, let them cook for about five minutes. There will be a dark line where the sausages have touched the pan—you want that. Now flip the sausages over, and let them cook undisturbed for another five minutes. Turn the heat down to low, add one cup braising liquid, and quickly cover the pan with a lid. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
We like to complete the rest of this process in a large, heavy soup pot, something like a Dutch oven.
Saute the chopped onion, carrots, and garlic for about 10 minutes along with the salt, olive oil, and baking soda. The baking soda raises the pH of the onions, which shortcuts the browning process. They’ll get pretty soupy along the way, but that’s all right.
When the sauteed vegetables are approaching a caramel brown, add the potatoes, oregano, and chicken stock. Let the sausages cool enough to handle, then chop them and add them to the simmering soup along with the kale. Make sure you scrape all the cooked bits from the bottom of the frying pan. Their flavor will add depth to your soup.
When the potatoes and kale are tender, the soup is ready to serve.
At our farm, we enjoy a scoop of plain yogurt as topping, but sour cream would be a fine choice, too.