Fresh kale is so tender it doesn't need much cooking. This is a good seasonal soup that straddles winter and late spring, and it is best eaten the same day it's served.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 ounces uncooked garlic-herb chicken sausage, such as Al Fresco brand, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces kale leaves (tough stems discarded), chopped, washed and drained (about 5 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 15 ounces canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 64 ounces low-sodium vegetable broth
- 9 ounces fresh cheese tortellini
Heat a soup pot over medium heat; add the oil once the pot is hot.
Drop in the pieces of chicken sausage and cook for about 6 minutes until browned, stirring as needed. Add the onion and garlic; cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften.
Add the chopped kale and stir to incorporate. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until the kale leaves wilt and turn a deep green. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and beans, mixing well, then add the vegetable broth. Cover and cook until the broth just begins to bubble at the edges.
Stir in the tortellini; reduce the heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for about 6 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through.
Divide among individual bowls; serve hot.
From Cynthia A. Brown, assistant director at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria.
Tested by Cynthia A. Brown.
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