There's nothing better than a big bowl of soup once the cooler months roll around! This easy soup will leave you feeling full and satisfied without feeling too full. The stock get's an extra hit of smoky flavor from the ham hock. Be sure to serve this with warm garlic breadsticks, cracked black pepper, and a mountain of parmesan cheese- it'll feel like you're eating at Olive Garden (if that's your thing)!
- 1 bunch sage
- 1 bunch thyme
- 1 bunch rosemary
- 1/ 4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium shallots, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3/ 4 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 2 (15 ounce) cans white beans
- 5 cups roughly chopped lacinato kale
- 1 1/ 2 quarts chicken stock, or pork stock
- 1 hock ham, optional
- Parmesan, freshly grated, for serving
- Salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
Tie the herbs together into a bunch with kitchen twine or in a piece of cheesecloth.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot or Dutch oven. Once oil is shimmering, add shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until garlic is softened and just beginning to brown.
Remove sausage from casing and crumble into pot. Stir occasionally, allowing sausage to brown. In the meantime, drain one can of beans, and keep one can of beans with liquid. Set aside.
Once sausage is fully cooked through, add both cans of beans plus reserved liquid, kale, stock, ham hock if using, and herbs. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until slightly reduced and flavors have melded.
Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Soup is often better the day after it is made.