CKT sausage kale soup

CKT Sausage Kale Soup
Recipe note: MODERATE
Serves: 6, 45ish mins to prepare

2 TBS olive oil
4 good quality mild Italian sausage links - have the butcher uncase it for you
1 yellow onion - chopped
4 lg. carrots - peeled and chopped
2 cloves of garlic - minced
2-32oz containers of good chicken stock
2 russet potatoes - peeled; one chopped and one cut into 3/4 inch slices
4 ears of corn - kernels cut from stalk
1 bunch kale - chopped, ribs removed
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
parmesan cheese for serving

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium/high heat. After one to two minutes, add the sausage and use two forks to break up the meat while cooking. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the meat is (mostly) cooked through. Add the onion and carrots and cook for another 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for one minute--stirring. Add the chicken stock and bring soup to a simmer (skim fat from the top with a spoon if necessary). Add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes. Add the corn and kale and cook for another 5 to 8 minutes. While the corn and kale are cooking remove the sliced potatoes and place on a plate; use a fork to smash (almost making mashed potatoes) and then add back to the soup. Season the soup with salt and pepper to your liking. Serve with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes for everyone to help themselves. We always have a good crusty baguette and room temperature butter on the table to accompany the soup.