I first made this soup using only hot Italian sausages. Being somewhat of a spice wimp, that was a bit much for me, so the second time I used a mix of hot and mild sausages. This is an area where you’ll definitely want to personalize this recipe. I’ve also made this without the fennel, and just added another cup or so of the chopped kale.
Note, the kale needs to be finely chopped; large pieces will dominate the soup and turn eating it into a chewing marathon, and that’s not the effect you’re going for here.
Squeeze the sausage meat out of the casings into a Dutch oven and sauté over medium-high heat, stirring and breaking up the meat as much as possible. Once the sausage is fully browned, add the portobello mushrooms and onions, stirring occasionally over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms have released their juices.
Break up the tomatoes and add them, along with their juice, to the soup pot. Stir in the fennel, sage, thyme, pepper, salt and the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn to a simmer and leave the soup to cook about 30 minutes, covered.
Mix in the kale and white wine and cook for another 15 minutes or so before serving.
Refrigerate any leftovers and enjoy them for lunch or dinner within a couple of days.