Spanish Style White Bean and Sausage Soup
3 andouille sausage links
8 1/2 cups chicken stock
8 ounces dried Great Northern beans
1 bay leaf
1 pinch crushed saffron threads
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
12 ounces kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a large skillet. Add sausages, and cook over medium heat for 7 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan, dice, and set aside.
In a large pot, combine the chicken stock and dry beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Add the bay leaf and a pinch of salt.
Simmer, partially covered, for 2 hours. Discard bay leaf. Remove 1/2 cup of the stock to a small bowl. Stir in saffron, and set aside to soak.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, and brown for about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan, and reduce the heat to low. Add the onion, and cook for about 5 minutes, then stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Mix in the red bell pepper and paprika. Cook for a few minutes before adding the mixture to the soup pot along with the sausage.
Bring the soup to a low boil, and stir in the kale. Simmer for 10 minutes, until kale is tender. Serve hot.