Roasted garlic adds a nice depth of flavor to this hearty stew, but if you don't have any on hand feel free to just saute some garlic along with the onion. Lacinato (or "dinosaur") kale is nice here, but use whatever you have. Serve this with cornbread on the side or, if you like, serve it over polenta or even pasta.
1 lb hot Italian sausage (substitute sweet if you like), casings removed
1 large onion, diced
3 cups chopped or crushed tomatoes (canned, or thawed if frozen)
3-4 cups cooked kidney beans
Cloves from 2 heads of roasted garlic
6-8 cups kale, center ribs cut out and leaves cut into thin ribbons
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown the sausage in a Dutch oven or other large pot. Pour off excess fat, then add the onion and saute for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat. Add all other remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the kale is tender. Taste and adjust seasonings.