This hearty Tuscan soup is full of flavor. The crinkly, deep-green leaves of Lacinato kale (also called dinosaur or black kale) are ideal, but any variety of kale will work.
This recipe is easily adaptable to serve meat-lovers and vegetarians alike: see the variation to serve one vegetarian, or check out the totally meatless version of this recipe.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 Tbs. oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sausage meatballs, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Add the sausage to the soup and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook 5 minutes more to meld the flavors. Stir the cider vinegar into the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with a crusty baguette or Garlic Crostini with Spinach Salad.
To serve 1 vegetarian and 3 meat lovers: Use vegetable broth for the soup. Reduce the sausage to 1/2 lb. and cook the meatballs in the same fashion. After stirring the cider vinegar into the soup and seasoning to taste, set aside 1-3/4 cups of the soup for the vegetarian before adding the meatballs.
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I just spent the morning making this soup and it is grey, rainy and chilly day here in Montreal. I made a few changes to the recipe along the way based on a similar Fine Cooking recipe - Mediterranean Kale & white Bean Soup with Sausage. I added a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, used lemon juice instead of apple cider vinegar, used six cups of chicken broth and tossed in a frozen Parmesan rind I had in the freezer. The excellent quality of the sweet Italian sausage certainly kicked the taste of this soup up a notch. I look forward to enjoying this soup tonight as I think all the flavours need some time to merge.
Love this recipe! It’s a perfect soup for a cold winter night. I actually use chorizo for the meatballs. It adds a wonderful flavor to the soup.
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