Italian Sausage and Kale Soup

- 1 1/2 lb fresh Italian sausage, sweet or hot
- 1 lb fresh kale, washed
- 1 lb. Yukon gold or red potatoes, cut into quarters
- 1 cup fresh yellow onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots, freshly chopped
- 4 to 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

- 2 Tablespoons olive oil

- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 2 1/2 lb. red tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups of kidney beans, cooked or a 16 oz can of prepared kidney beans.
- Black pepper, freshly ground
- Pinch of salt

(1)        Strip the leaves from the washed kale, and cut diagonally into wide slices. Wash, peel, and chop tomatoes. Cover and set aside.

(2)        In a large frying pan, cook and prick the sausage to release fat. Drain fat. Cut into 1/2 inch slices; set aside. In a large saucepan, add the oil and butter, sauté onions, carrots, and garlic for a couple of minutes. Then add potatoes and broth, simmer, partially covered for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.

(3)        Add the tomatoes and then the kidney beans into the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the kale and cooked sausage; simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes. Season to taste.

NOTE: This is a very hearty and delicious soup. Serve with fresh bread and your favorite beverage.