Bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot and add 2 tablespoons salt. Meanwhile, remove and discard the stems from the kale and cut the leafy parts into bite-size pieces. Add the kale to the pot, stir, and boil covered for 3 to 5 minutes, just until tender - no longer. Test a piece after 3 minutes. The kale will be heated a bit more during the final stages of soup preparation.
Drain the kale in a colander and immediately half-fill the cooking
pot with cold water. Dump the kale into the pot, swish it around for about 1 minute to cool quickly, and drain again in the colander. Dry the pot to use later. Leave the kale while
you prepare the soup base.
Cut the sausage into 1/2-inch-thick slices. In a large skillet (12-inches), heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, arrange the sausage in a single layer in the pan. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side until browned and crusty. Remove the sausage with kitchen tongs and set on paper towels to drain.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pot used for the kale and set it over medium heat. When hot, add the onions. Stir well, cover the pot, and cook about 8 minutes, until the onions are translucent and just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the sausage, chicken stock, salt to taste (about 2 teaspoons if stock is unsalted), bay leaves, thyme and oregano. Bring to the boil and add the potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot, and cook slowly until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the cooked beans.
The soup may be prepared to this point hours ahead. When cool, cover and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, bring the soup to the simmer, uncovered, over medium heat. Stir in the kale and parsley and heat until piping hot. The kaleâs color will be a vibrant green. Ladle into warm soup bowls and serve at once.
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