Thought about calling this Kiss the Cook soup, b/c after tasting hubby hugged me and told me how lucky he was to have me. LOL!! Whenever I have a huge amount of kale leftover, I freeze it raw -- chopped--in one quart zip locks for a different day and works great for my next batch of soup. Estimate that 4 cups of kale equals 4 ounces and that one sausage link equals 4 ounces.
- 4 cups kale
- 3 slices bacon
- 12 ounces Italian sausage, ground
- 1⁄2 cup onion, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 large russet potatoes, unpeeled cubed
- 46 ounces chicken stock
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons half-and-half
- Wash and dry kale.
- Microwave bacon until crisp, set aside until end.
- In Dutch oven, sauté sausage and onion until sausage is brown, remove grease.
- Add garlic, potatoes, stock, fennel, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, bring to low boil, cover, and cook until potatoes are done, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, remove ribs of kale and chop.
- Lower burner to low, remove with slotted spoon about 2 cups potatoes, roughly mash with fork, and stir back into pan.
- Stir in chopped kale, simmer about 4 minutes-- we like kale a bit chewy.
- Add half and half.
- Stir in crumbled bacon, serve.
- NOTE: If freezing, hold off on half and half, add later. You can also put hot soup into bowl and add a tablespoon at a time of the half and half to each bowl. Haven't tried yet in crockpot but assume it would work fine.