This hearty bean soup is chock full of flavour, fiber, and good-for-ya stuff. A healthy amount of kale provides loads of nutrients and the sausage adds smoky robust flavour. In less than half an hour you can be spooning into a bowl of belly-filling comfort. (Skip to recipe.)
That’s the kind of yo-yo weather we’ve been having this last month. Cold meaning around -10°C and more cold meaning around -35°C. (It was during one of those -35° spells that our furnace broke!) And, once, it even warmed up to a balmy -2°C.
So, it sure feels like soup weather around here.
Hearty, filling soups that warm you from the inside out, that make you want to rub your belly as you scrape every last drop from the bowl, then hold out that bowl for ‘just a little bit more, please’. Soups that you’ll make twice in one week because they taste so darn good and that first potful disappeared before you could even enjoy any leftovers.
Soups like this flavourful, rib-sticking, and more-ish Sausage, Kale, and Bean Soup. Don’t tell me you don’t like beans. Or that you don’t like kale. I’ll tell you that you will change your mind when you eat a bowl full of this soup.
Sausage, beans and kale all go for a happy swim together in a bright tomato-studded broth. The smoky sausage lends a depth of flavour that normally takes hours of simmering to get, but you’ll be cradling a bowl of this soup half hour after you start chopping your onion. The beans are creamy and satisfying, and the kale adds complexity and texture with its satisfying chew and bright garden flavour (not to mention, a load of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber!)
Serve it topped with a drizzle of olive oil and some shavings of Parmesan cheese, or add a biscuit or rustic grainy bun on the side. (I’ve been working on a recipe for the delectable gluten free seed buns you see in the top photo – Cottage Buns recipe here.)
It’s become our new favourite soup. It makes those freezing cold days a little easier to bear.
* * * * *
Kitchen Frau Notes: Use any kind of smoked sausage here, like a coil of garlic or ham sausage, or a couple of bratwursts or smokies – the amount is just a guideline, of course. Or use diced, leftover ham instead. Make sure the sausage is gluten-free if you’ve got a gluten free diner at your table.
*Two 14-oz cans will work too. (I know you can do the math, but sometimes I need it spelled out for me.) Also, if you can’t find cannellini beans, use any other light beans: white kidney beans, romano beans, pinto beans, navy beans, or even chickpeas. Or soak and cook your own.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 12 oz (350gms) smoked ham or garlic sausage (about three 5-inch links)
- one 28-oz (796ml) can diced tomatoes
- one 28-oz (796ml) can cannellini beans or other light beans* (3½ cups cooked beans)
- 4 cups (960ml) chicken stock (homemade, purchased, or good quality concentrate)
- 1 bunch kale (about 6 medium leaves of curly kale, or 4 cups chopped, packed)
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, celery, and garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are translucent, but not browned.
Slice the sausage thinly, and add it to the pot. Add the diced tomatoes and canned beans, with their juices. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 10 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, rinse the kale leaves and shake off excess water. Tear the leaves off the stems and discard the stems (or save them for making stock). Chop the kale leaves into chunks roughly 1 inch square (2.5cm). Add the chopped kale to the soup, and simmer for 5 -10 more minutes, until the kale is wilted and softened to your liking. Taste and add more salt if the soup needs it. (It will depend on how salty the stock and the sausages are.)
Drizzle each serving with olive oil and add a scattering of grated Parmesan cheese, if you like.
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