Betty Duddridge of Maynard grew up in Leominster, where her mother, Eleanor Altobelli, used to make a kielbasa and kale soup. “At the time only frozen kale was readily accessible. I began using fresh kale and then developed this version,” writes Duddridge. Her adaptation also includes switching the kielbasa for a combination of hot and sweet ground Italian sausage.
|2||tablespoons olive oil|
|1||pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, removed from casing|
|1||large onion, cut into 1-inch dice|
|2||carrots, cut into ½-inch dice|
|Salt and black pepper, to taste|
|1||teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste|
|3||cloves garlic, finely chopped|
|1||cup white wine|
|6||cups chicken stock|
|1||can (15 ounces) chopped tomatoes|
|¼||pound wedge Parmesan cheese, rind removed, cheese grated|
|⅓||cup orzo or other tiny soup pasta|
|1||large bunch of kale, ribs removed and leaves roughly chopped (about 3 cups)|
|1||can (15 ounces) red kidney beans|
1. In a soup pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until it is lightly browned.
2. Stir in the onion, carrots, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute more.
3. Turn up the heat to medium-high. Add the wine. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the wine reduces by half.
4. Add the stock, tomatoes, and cheese rind. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and set on the cover askew. Simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Add the orzo or pasta and cook 10 minutes more.
6. Add the kale and simmer for 10 minutes more, or until the kale is tender.
7. Add the beans and simmer for 2 minutes, or until the beans are hot. Total simmering time is 52 minutes. Remove and discard the cheese rind from the soup. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with grated Parmesan.