I’m in a bit of a food-hoarding mood these days, preparing for the upcoming baby. It seems like all moms I’ve ever chatted with have told me that freezing meals in the last few weeks before delivery was the best thing they did, so I’ve been flipping through our “Favorite Recipes” binder to pick dishes that can withstand freezing and still taste as delicious and satisfying once reheated. This is one such soup. Not only is it hearty enough to make a meal, but also its flavor is balanced and elegant so you could even serve it to company for a holiday lunch. Make a pot for a crowd, or split it in portions for many delectable meals to come.
Serves 6 to 8.
2 lbs [907 g] veal or Italian sausage
2 tbsp [30 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp [5 ml] chili pepper flakes
1 bunch kale, trimmed, chopped in small pieces
6 cups chicken stock
1 13.5 oz [398 ml] can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup [250 ml] cooked barley (or rice, or orzo)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Shaved parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Take the sausage meat out of the casings. Pinch off little sections of meat and roll them into mini-meatballs. That’ll make lots of meatballs, but that’s exactly what you want!
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the sausage meatballs until they are brown all over, about 7 minutes (work in batches, if necessary). Use a slotted spoon to take the meatballs out of the skillet and into a plate. Reserve.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and chili pepper flakes to the pot and sauté for a minute. Add the chopped kale and sauté until the kale is slightly wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and cannellini beans, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cooked barley, mix well and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Ladle into bowls and serve sprinkled with shaved parmigiano-reggiano cheese.