Edible Landscaping


Dinosaur or lacinata kale features crunchy, puckered leaves.

Kale-Sausage Soup

I like to use lacinata or dinosaur kale and harvest them in fall when leaves are sweet tasting. Being a vegetarian, I've adapted Ellen's recipe, substituting soy-based vegetarian sausage for regular sausage and using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. It still tastes great and is very warming on a cool fall evening!

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 pound cooked sausage cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, ribbed, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 large bunch kale, stemmed, washed well, and coarsely chopped (8 cups packed)
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups chopped tomato, fresh or drained canned
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, red pepper, chili, and garlic, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cook for 1 minute.

A handful at a time, add the kale, stirring each addition and letting it wilt before adding another handful. Add the stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and partially cover the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the rice and cook until it is tender, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, but use a light hand because the sausage may have provided enough seasoning. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings

Recipe by Ellen Ecker Ogden from her book From the Cook's Garden (HarperCollins, 2003). Ellen is a garden writer and cookbook author based in Vermont.

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