This is one of my favourite soups that I make at the first fall of the outside temperature into the single digits each year. And I’m not really a soup person. Its hearty bounty will warm your insides and make your GI tract feel real good from start to finish. I like to use spicy Italian sausages but mild sausages can be used if preferred. The flavours will be exceptional if you use homemade chicken stock and add cheese rinds, both of which I try to always stock in the freezer.
Makes 6-8 servings
3 hot Italian sausages, casings removed (about 500g)
2 medium carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup good dry white wine
1 small of 1/2 of medium butternut squash, cubed
4 cups homemade chicken stock
1-2 hard cheese rinds like Parmagiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
2 bay leaves
small bunch of fresh thyme stalks
1 tablespoon dried oregano
6 cups chopped kale leaves
2 cans (28 fl. oz. total) white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper
(optional) shaved parmesan
- Heat a good glug of olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high. Once hot, add the sausages and smash using the flat edge of a wooden utensil. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Once browned, remove the sausage bits using a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the carrots, celery, and onions to the pot cook stirring on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until sweated. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring. Then add the wine to deglaze and scrape off browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Crank the heat up and bring to boil. Then add the butternut squash, the sausage back into the pot, and pour the chicken stock to cover. Add some water if you need more liquid to cover the ingredients (I added about 1 cup). Throw in the cheese rind(s), bay leaves, thyme, and oregano.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low to simmer for at least 1 hour. The butternut squash should be easily pierced with a fork without resistance. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In the last 3 minutes of cooking, stir in the kale to gently wilt. Remove from heat and stir in the beans.
- Pick off the thyme stems, bay leaves, and cheese rinds (if still intact). Serve with shaved parmesan and freshly cracked pepper!