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Spicy Sausage and Kale Soup


1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes

2½ cups ¼-inch-diced Vidalia onion

8 cloves of garlic, thickly sliced, about ¼ cup

1 tablespoon Espelette pepper or hot paprika

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon toasted fennel seeds

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil + more for garnish

3 Yukon gold potatoes, halved and then sliced into ¼-inch slices, about 3 cups

2 quarts chicken stock

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese + more for garnish

4 cups packed sliced kale leaves, preferably black lacinato kale, tough ribs removed

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar


  1. Refrigerate the pork until well chilled; the fat should be solid and firm. Chill your meat grinder and the large die.
  2. Toss 1-¼ cups of the onion, 2 tablespoons of the garlic, the Espelette pepper, fennel seeds, salt, and red pepper flakes with the pork and mix well. Chill until ready to grind.
  3. Assemble the meat grinder and grind the pork into a large bowl.
  4. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the ground pork, stirring gently until it just starts to brown, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining 1-¼ cups onion and 2 tablespoons garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions start to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Your sausage should be crumbly.
  6. Add the potatoes and toss to coat with oil.
  7. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, cover, and decrease the heat to low.
  8. Cook until the potatoes and cooked through and are just starting to break apart, about 20 minutes.
  9. Remove the lid, add the cheese and kale, and cook until the kale is completely wilted, about 10 minutes.
  10. Just before serving, stir in the vinegar. Garnish each bowl with additional Parmesan cheese and a heavy drizzle of olive oil.
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