Don't toss your Parmesan cheese rind! Put that rind to good use by steeping it in this hearty soup to add flavor.
In a 5-quart Dutch oven cook the first four ingredients (through garlic) over medium heat until sausage is browned, breaking into small pieces as it cooks. Add broth, beans, tomatoes, Parmesan rind (if using), bay leaf, and Italian seasoning. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove bay leaf and Parmesan rind, if using. Add collard greens. Return to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or until collards are tender. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Top servings with additional basil and Parmesan cheese.
Remove the inner stem of each collard leaf by cutting along each side of the stem with a sharp knife. Remove and discard the stem (or safe for another use). Chop the leaves into bite-size pieces.