There are things from the 90s that I don't miss; like Vanilla Ice, Roller Blades, my brother's obsession with the Power Rangers, and my unruly hair (wait, I still have that). But then there are other things I will always and forever love, like the original 90210, Tupac, and my perfectly worn Grunge-era plaid shirt. Right up there is this recipe for this Roasted Tomato, Kale, Sausage, and Potato Soup. I haven't the slightest idea where it comes from but I vaguely recall my Mom had with a recipe like this earmarked in a cookbook.
There are things about this soup that I can't recall, like if the original recipe had pasta or potatoes or both; if it was more Italian flavored or like a stew with a slight tomato flavor; and whether or not it had any greens at all. What I do recall is that, come the colder weather, this Roasted Tomato, Kale, Sausage, and Potato Soup was standard fare. I've dug into my mental recipe box and recreated it the best I could but with a few updates that make it more 2013 than 1993 but without any additional effort and the result is this Roasted Tomato, Kale, Sausage, and Potato Soup -- no matter what era it's from, I can tell you it's a keeper.
such as a Sauvignon Blanc
cut into 1-inch pieces
plus cheese for garnish (optional)
stemmed and thinly sliced
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned all over, about 8 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Return the pan to medium-low heat, add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the celery, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook until the celery just starts to soften, another 3 minutes. Add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan and cook until the alcohol smell is gone, about 2 minutes.
Add the broth, tomatoes and their liquid, water, potatoes, and cheese rind (if using) and bring to a boil over high heat. the potatoes, the tomatoes, their juices, and broth and bring to a boil. When the soup boils, reduce the heat to low, partially cover and cook until the potatoes are knife tender, about 15 minutes.
I always buy Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese with the rind on so that 1) I know it's the authentic stuff 2) I can save the bit of rind and throw it in broths or sauces to add more flavor.
Slice the reserved sausage into 1/2-inch rounds then add it and the kale to the pot. Cook until the sausage is heated through and the kale is wilted, about 5 minutes. Taste, adjust seasoning, grate cheese over the top, as desired, and serve.