Kale Soup For a Wet Spring Day

The cookbook shelf brought me to Heart of the Home: Notes From a Vineyard Kitchen by Susan Branch from 1986. I’ve used this cookbook fairly frequently as the messy pages attest. The Kale Soup recipe called to me. I’m a total sucker for kale and sausage soup.

Susan Branch is a prolific writer including of cookbooks. Heart of the Home was her first cookbook and she has just released the 30th anniversary issue.  Really, all her recipes are great. If you’d like to try some, here’s a link to her website that includes many yummy sounding recipes.

Since we always have way too much food from recipes, I cut the ingredients in half. According to Susan Branch this would feed four. Well we ate this for three meals so more like six people. I will give you her original recipe that says it serves 8. Be prepared to freeze some or invite guests!

  • 1 lb kale, washed
  • 1 lb sweet Italian Sausage
  • 3 tbs. butter
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 c. celery, chopped
  • 1 c. onions, chopped
  • 1/2 c. carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (don’t tell Dan!)
  • 4 med. potatoes, diced
  • 8 c. chicken stock
  • 2 c. beef broth
  • 2 lbs. tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • 1 19 oz. can garbanzo beans
  • 1 tbs. basil
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • salt, pepper to taste

Cut leaves away from kale stems and chop to fairly small pieces    

If using fresh tomatoes, peel, seed and chop them and set aside

Broil the sausage to cook and drain away any fat

Cut sausage into 1/2″ slices

Melt butter and oil in a large heavy soup pot

Add celery, onions, carrots and garlic

Cook them until soft

Add potatoes and chicken and beef broth

Bring the soup to a boil

Reduce and simmer cooking partially covered for 15 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through

Stir in tomatoes and garbanzo beans

Simmer 15 more minutes

And kale and sausage, basil, thyme and salt and pepper

Simmer about 7 minutes more and then serve

Susan suggested making her Best Biscuits also found in the cookbook. Who could resist! Again I cut the recipe in half and had lots!  

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 4 tbs melted butter

Preheat oven to 425

Put flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into mixing bowl and stir with a fork

Slowly add 1 to 1 1/2 c. cream, stirring constantly, just until dough comes together

Place dough on floured board and knead for 1 minute

Pat dough flat to about 3/4″ thick

Cut with round 2″ cookie cutters and brush both sides with melted butter (I didn’t do the butter part)

Place the buttered biscuits 1″ apart on an ungreased cookie sheet

Bake 15-18 minutes till browned

Both the soup and the biscuits were excellent. Like most soups, the flavor of the Kale Soup developed further the next day. All in all these recipes are keepers.


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