On a cold, rainy day, nothing nourishes the body and soul like a hearty bowl of soup. Before opening a can of ready-made soup, make a batch of your own instead. Not only will you be able to control the amount of sodium and preservatives that you family eats, you’ll also another meal or two to simply heat and then eat. And since most soups freeze beautifully, you can make and freeze all of your favorite soups to eat when you just don’t feel like cooking.
The following soup is quick to fix, huge on flavor and budget friendly. Italian sausage, kale and cannellini beans get transformed into a soup that is good enough for company or just a casual family dinner.
Cannellini beans, also known as white kidney beans, can be found on the vegetable aisle at Reasor’s. Just be sure to drain and rinse before using to remove extra sodium and other unwanted ingredients that are used to preserve them.
If you’re unfamiliar with kale, it’s a dark leafy green that can often be seen as the lining for hors d'oeuvres platters, but it is so much more useful than that. Similar to spinach, Swiss chard and other dark green veggies, kale is a good source of iron, vitamins C and K, potassium and folate. Plus it lends texture and a slight pleasantly bitter flavor to the soup.
Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup
- 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 (19 oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus additional for garnish
In a Dutch oven, brown sausage over medium heat. Drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in pan.
Add onion and red pepper flakes. Sauté until onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add kale and garlic. Sauté just until kale is barely wilted, about a minute. Add chicken broth, oregano and a pinch of both salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Using a fork or a potato masher, mash half of the beans. Add all of the beans to the pot. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for another 5 minutes; stir in Parmesan. Sprinkle individual servings with more cheese, if desired.
Makes about 6-8 servings