Spring is getting close, but for now, wintery soup will still grace my table.
I am a lover of beans and especially when they are in a soup. I’m so happy when I remember ahead of time to soak the dried ones. But I forget just as much as I remember and so I use the canned ones too. A little helpful fact for you is that one half cup of dried beans when cooked is the same as one 15-ounce can.
There are four different herbs in the soup broth. Apologies. But the beans need to be flavored up in a soup and together these all make a wonderful savory flavor.
Ah kale. I’m kind of saving the best for last here. I have always loved kale, but honestly I’ve not cooked with it much. It’s the popular vegetable right now too. With good reason as I just read that it rates at the top for healthiest vegetable. You are probably most familiar with the curly leaf kale, but I like using “lacinato” kale which is also called Tuscan kale. It has a flat more delicate like leaf than the curly kale you might be more familiar with.
Yup, all in one again with this recipe – protein, carbohydrates and vegetable. But that doesn’t stop me from warming up a chewy artisan style loaf of bread to serve with it.
- 1 cup dried white beans, such as great northern, cannelini or navy (2 15-ounce cans, drained, can be substituted: see note)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-1/2 cups chopped onions
- 8 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound Italian style chicken sausage
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 3 cups thinly sliced (stems removed), "lacinato" (also called Tuscan or dinosaur) kale
- ½ teaspoon oregano leaves
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Put the beans in a soup pot; cover with cold water by one or two inches. Bring to a boil and cook for 1-2 minutes; turn off heat and cover the pot. Let the beans soak at least one hour and up to two hours. Drain beans and set aside.
- In the same soup pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat; add onions and garlic and cook and stir until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add chicken broth, drained beans, salt, thyme, sage and bay leaf; bring to a simmer; cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 1-1/2 hours.
- While beans are simmering, remove sausage from casing. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat; add sausage and cook and stir breaking up into pieces until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, kale, cooked sausage, oregano and fennel to the beans; simmer 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve with grated Parmesan sprinkled on top.