There is nothing better than a bone-warming soup or stew during the winter months. I had intended to make a sausage and kale WHITE BEAN ribollita. However, as I rifled through my pantry, only to find 2 cans of chickpeas. Side-note: I had about 30 cans of black beans. The beauty of stews is that you can kind of alter them to what you have, right? So I did just that.
The secret ingredient that I use for my soups, chilis and stews is a Parmesan-cheese rind. Don’t ever throw out the rind when you are done with the block, because it imparts the most fantastic flavor into soups and stews. The rind literally disintegrates into the liquid, so there’s nothing to fish out. This is delicious and satisfying – it’s a great make-ahead, freezer-worthy staple.
Kale & Sausage Ribollita Stew (Makes 6 servings)
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 Tablespoons garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano, chopped
2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes (preferably no-added salt)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 16-oz cans chickpeas (or other bean of choice)
2 cups water
1, 3″ Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
1lb mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1 lb kale (preferably lacinato), stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Heat large dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, onions, carrots and celery. Cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and herbs; sauté until aromatic. Next, make a well and add in sausage, crumble; allow to brown for 5 minutes Add tomatoes and chicken stock; cook for 10 minutes. Add beans and water. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 60 minutes covered. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add kale and stir until combined (it will wilt). Season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve with fresh parsley, freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and drizzle of fresh lemon juice.
Note: If using dried beans/legumes, replace canned beans with 1-lb dried. Rinse and soak them overnight. Increase water (in recipe) to 9 cups, adding the water and soaked beans with the tomatoes and chicken stock. Cook soup for at least 1 1/2 hours at on low heat.