Wash and place the beans in a large soup pot. Fill the pot with water and let soak for a few hours. (Pre-soaking is optional).
Drain and rinse the beans and place back in the pot. Add the whole head of garlic (do not pull garlic cloves apart). Add water until it is about 3 inches above the beans. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook until the beans are starting to get soft, about 30 minutes.
While the beans cook, peel and chop the onion into ½” chunks. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the onions and cook, stirring often.
Slice the sausages lengthwise in half. Slice again across the lengths in ½” thick slices to get half-round slices. Add the sausage to the onions and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
Remove the head of garlic from the pot to a plate or cutting board. To the beans, add the tomato paste, salt and pepper. With a slotted spoon, add the onions and sausage, leaving the fat behind. Add 2-3 cups more water to the pot, so that you have plenty of liquid. Take the garlic head and squish the cloves out of their skins with a wide knife or spatula. Add the squished garlic cloves back to the pot and stir.
Wash the bunch of kale and chop the leaves roughly into small pieces until you have 8 cups. You may not need the whole bunch. Add the kale to the soup pot and stir. It will seem like a lot of kale, but it cooks down quickly into the soup. Continue to simmer the soup for another 30 minutes, or even longer until you are ready to eat.
Serve in a large bowl with some crusty bread for dipping – and a nice glass of red wine. Enjoy!
Where to find Hutterite Beans:
Monterey Market in Berkeley, Ca
Online from the growers at Mohr-Fry Ranches in Lodi, CA: www.elegantbeans.com