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3 Kale Soups Perfect for Winter

We went over some winter kale salads last week, but now it’s time to incorporate the almighty green into something that sticks to your ribs.

Grab your cookery, ingredients, and the nearest wooden spoon—it’s time for some kale soups that are perfect for winter.

Kale and White Bean Soup

Ingredients
- 1 lb dried white beans (like Great Northern or navy)
- 2 onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 2 qt water
- 1 Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bay leaf (not California)
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 lb smoked sausage such as kielbasa (optional), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
- 8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 lb kale (preferably lacinato), stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped

Preparation
1. Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.

2. Cook onions in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.

3. While soup is simmering, brown sausage (if using) in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.

Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale, sausage, and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.

Sausage, Lentil, and Kale Soup

Ingredients
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 celery stalks (with leafy tops), thinly sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced medium
- 1/2 cup dried lentils
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bunch (about 1/2 pound) kale, preferably Tuscan, stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar

Preparation 
1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add sausage and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add celery and onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add lentils, broth, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer, partially cover, and cook until lentils and vegetables are tender, 25 minutes.

2. Add kale and season with salt. Return soup to a rapid simmer, cover, and cook until kale wilts, about 5 minutes. Remove soup from heat, stir in vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.

Tuscan-Style Potato and Kale Soup

Ingredients
- 2 heads garlic
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cups finely chopped onion, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 1/4 pounds cubed peeled Yukon gold potato (about 6 cups)
- 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 4 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, divided
- 6 ounces hot Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 ounce pancetta, finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Cut off pointed end of each garlic head to partially reveal cloves (do not peel or separate the cloves); place each head in the center of a small sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon oil over each head; wrap each in foil. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes; cool 10 minutes. Squeeze to extract pulp; discard skins.

3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 cups onion; sauté 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in pepper, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and potato; sauté 2 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally. Place a food mill over a large bowl; pour potato mixture and garlic pulp into food mill. Press mixture through food mill; return mixture to pan. Stir in half-and-half. Finely grate 2 ounces cheese to yield 1/2 cup; stir into soup. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

4. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1/2 cup onion; sauté for 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt, sausage, and pancetta; cook 8 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble sausage.

5. Cook kale in boiling water for 4 minutes; strain through a sieve over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Grate 1 ounce cheese. Combine kale, reserved cooking liquid, grated cheese, sage, and nuts in a food processor; process until finely ground. With processor on, gradually add 1 tablespoon oil through food chute, processing until combined. Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 6 bowls; top each serving with 3 tablespoons sausage mixture. Drizzle each serving with about 4 teaspoons kale mixture; shave remaining 1 ounce cheese evenly over soup.

 

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