Do you wish a soup could change your life? Then look no further. I've made and eaten this soup so many times I wouldn't be surprised if my veins coursed with it. Nor would I mind. It's a rustic and comforting meal-in-a-bowl but delicious enough to serve for a dinner party with a cheese plate and a salad. And I have. More than once. I love to make extra and freeze half for an instant cozy dinner in the future.
I started with a Tyler Florence recipe and it morphed into this version over time. I omitted the pasta and half the beans and added more veggies and kale.
The Best Soup on the Planet According to Jolie Jenkins
(adapted from Tyler Florence's Hunter's Minestrone)
2 quarts chicken stock
1 head garlic, halved
2-3 T extra virgin olive oil
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh thyme
10 fresh sage leaves
1 lb. loose (not in casings) sweet (or spicy, depending on your preference) pork (or chicken or turkey) italian sausage
3 medium carrots, roughly chopped
3 celery ribs, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 bunch parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 bunch kale, de-ribbed and rough-chopped
freshly ground black pepper
lots of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving
Halve the garlic head width-wise through all the cloves (just leave all the papery skin on there) and combine it with the chicken stock in a big saucepan. Bring it to a simmer and keep it there, covered, for at least 15 (and up to 30) minutes to give the stock amazing garlicky goodness. Strain out the garlic and keep covered.
Meanwhile, pour the olive oil in another large soup pot over medium heat. Add the rosemary, thyme and sage. Saute for a minute or two and then add the sausage. Break it up with a spoon and cook until well browned. Add the chopped carrots, celery and onion and a big pinch of kosher salt and cook for 5-7 minutes until softened but not browned. Then add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, drained beans, kale and reserved chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning. Add the parsley and keep simmering on low another 15 minutes or more.
If you have a kitchen
helper beggar like I do, throw her a carrot...
Serve with lots of cheese on top and crusty bread on the side. Oh, and red wine.