First Fall Soup: Chicken Sausage ‘n Bean

For no particular reason I couldn’t get to sleep last night. I futzed around, watching SVU reruns on TV, replying to emails from people, thinking about my Austria trip on the horizon, and tossing a foil ball up and down the hallway to my cat’s delight. I think I finally tucked in around 1am — which explains why my productivity and energy took a nosedive.

To salvage what’s left of my alert brain, I present my first fall soup recipe: chicken sausage, beans and kale.  It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s healthy and surprisingly flavorful.  The recipe is adapted from an old Real Simple recipe. Aside: I like Real Simple in general, but often find their recipes bland – they’re too simple. Fortunately, this soup is an exception.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cans of beans, any kind, drained – I used butter and white beans this time
  • 13 oz package of precooked sausage, cut into 1/4″  pieces – I favor Al Fresco chicken sausages
  • 16 oz vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes or tomato sauce – If using tomato sauce, you may want to toss in a few halved cherry or grape tomatoes for texture
  • 2 cups + kale, roughly chopped or torn
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Heat oil in soup pot over medium-low. Add the cut sausage and brown them without moving the pieces, 3-4 minutes. Resist the urge to stir! I only halfway succeeded – as evidenced by the photo at right.

2. Flip the sausage pieces and allow other side to brown a bit. Add the garlic.  Now you can stir to your heart’s content.

3. Add the beans, broth, tomatoes and basil to the pot, stirring to combine. Increase the heat to medium and bring the contents to a simmer. Once  simmering, add the chopped kale and stir it in, allowing the leaves to wilt for 3-5 minutes. (I poke the leaves down into the broth to speed up this process. A patient chef I am not.)

4. You’re done! Ladle the soup into bowls, top with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and serve with a side of crusty bread or crunchy crackers. Mmmm…warm flavors and colors of fall. And it’s ready in ~20 minutes.

I made this on a Sunday night and had 4 lunch-sized tupperwares of leftovers — after eating probably 2 servings for dinner.  This reheats well too – just be wary of the garlic!

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