I like to stock up on my favorite flavored sausage links. They freeze beautifully. Defrost some overnight in the fridge, then wake up, cut them out of the casings, and your bulk sausage is good to go. –Rach
Remove the sausage from the casings.
In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil, two turns of the pot, over medium-high. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl. Add the potatoes, onion, fennel, leek, celery, garlic, thyme, chile paste, and bay leaf to the pot; season with salt. Partially cover and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the stock, chickpeas, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the kale and sausage. Cook, stirring often, until the kale wilts, about 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice. Serve with the ciabatta (if using).