Doug found this recipe on theKitchen.com. I modified it to fit our taste, and everyone in the family loves it, even the one-year-old. We have all agreed it is our favorite soup of all time. Nobody even tried to pick out the kale. :)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound loose sausage
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium potatoes--red, russet, or whatever you have on hand--diced
1 lb. baby kale (or 1 bunch kale, chopped)
2 cans chicken broth (you can substitute water for half of this with no significant taste difference)
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
fresh shredded parmesan cheese (NOT the stuff that comes in the green can)
salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup pot, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook through. Remove the sausage to drain on a paper towel. In the same pot, saute the onion and garlic on medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the potatoes and cook until the edges of the potatoes are starting to turn transparent, 5-8 minutes. Add the kale to the pot. It will look like a huge amount, but it cooks down a lot--don't worry. Pour half a can of chicken broth over the kale and stir to coat everything with liquid. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for about 12 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes and adding more broth if the pot starts to become dry.
Add the rest of the broth, the thyme, oregano, bay leaf, and about 2 teaspoons salt. If the veggies aren't quite covered, add extra broth/water. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf and add the beans and the sausage. Stir in the cream and as much parmesan cheese as you like, and heat through, but don't boil. Serve with extra shredded parmesan and, if possible, warm homemade bread and grape juice. So good!
This soup reheats very well.