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White Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale...for my Sister

La Petite Maison Verte: White Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale...for my Sister

Monday, October 10, 2011

White Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale...for my Sister

My sister Heidi came to town!  It was a quick, impromptu visit to Tampa planned only 2 or 3 days in advance and it came at just the right time!  With B still overseas and me being new to the area, it's been a lonely couple of weeks and I jumped at the chance to have some company.  And my sister is the best kind of company.

We had such a great time this weekend:  had dinner out at my favorite restaurant in town, shopped, enjoyed long philosophical discussions, watched sappy romantic comedies, laughed at silly jokes, savored decaf cappuccinos and live music at the local coffee shop, went to a wine tasting and of course cooked and ate delicious meals together at my house!

Heidi is an adventurer in the kitchen:  she talks of things like "mellow miso" and "massaging the kale."  She incorporates aspects of eating raw, vegan and gluten-free into her diet yet isn't limited to those foods, she just enjoys a balance of healthy, mindful eating as it fits into a broad wellness approach.  

We really enjoyed this White Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale which came together rather quickly, especially since I had cooked up the sausage the day or two before and had some nice homemade chicken stock ready to go for this exact purpose.  We thought the kale was excellent a little "al dente" right out of the soup pot on the first night but also enjoyed it with a slightly more wilted texture, reheated in the microwave the next day.   It's a hearty, healthy and filling soup and we hope you give it a try!

White Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale
serves 4-6
Adapted from My Kitchen Addiction

1/2 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1 tablespoon olive oil (may not be necessary, depending on how much fat comes out of the sausage during cooking)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2 mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 can canellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 large tomato, diced
1/2 large bunch kale, thick stems removed, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
parmesan cheese for serving (optional)

In a dutch oven or large heavy pot, brown sausage over medium-high heat, breaking up with the spatula, until fully cooked.  Remove sausage to a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the same pot and lower heat to medium, add onion, celery, carrot and mushrooms to pot and saute 5-7 minutes stirring frequently, until vegetables have softened and onions start to become translucent (you may omit the olive oil in this step if there is fat left in the pot from cooking the sausage).  Add garlic and thyme and cook another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add beans, chicken stock and tomato and increase heat to high to bring soup to a boil.  Once boiling, cover soup with lid and reduce heat to low to simmer for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, remove lid and increase heat to medium-low, add kale and continue to cook 5-10 minutes, until kale wilts to desired amount (we liked our kale barely wilted, about 4-5 minutes).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle soup into bowls and serve, topped with shredded parmesan cheese if desired.

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