Sausage and Kale Soup for a Cold Night

For the past 2 days, it’s been incredibly cold and blustery here in the DC area. All I want to do in the evenings is curl up under my blanket with a good book and a big bowl of comfort food! So earlier today, I stumbled on a slow cooker Tuscan bean, sausage and kale soup from one of my fellow Twitter foodies, Eating Deliciously. I quickly realized after looking at her recipe that there’s no way I’d have time to make this in the slow cooker and be ready for me in time for dinner. So I tweaked the recipe to make it quicker and more convenient for my hungry belly.

Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: 4

Ingredients:
1 can of cannellini beans
2 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 cups free range organic chicken broth
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
1 bay leave
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 cups kale, coarsely chopped

In a large dutch oven over medium heat, add the olive oil and crumble in the sausage. Saute until brown. Drain excess fat. Add the onions and garlic to the sausage and stir well. Cook until the onions are soft. Mix in the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Pour in the chicken broth to the pot and bring to a simmer. Add in the cannellini beans and mix well. Toss in the bay leave and thyme, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes. Add in the chopped kale and allow to simmer in the broth for a few minutes before serving.

This is actually my first time cooking with and eating kale. I’ve always wanted to try this nutrient-rich leafy green, but could never find a good recipe. I was rather impressed with it’s mildly bitter flavor and texture. It worked really well with the flavorful broth and sausage. The thyme also gave this soup a very hearty and earthy flavor. I enjoyed my heaping bowl of soup with some crusty bread; it was the perfect meal for a cold night.

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