No. 70: Mediterranean Kale & White Bean Soup

Our new place is a bit chilly.

While we love all the windows and light they let in, a bit of winter air is getting in as well. Something to talk to Ron Ron (nickname for our landlord) about.

Oh, Ron Ron. Nice guy, but a bit scattered.

After a couple days in the duplex, we're adjusting, but I'm always craving something warm as soon as I walk in the door. Hence the weeknight soup below.

Mediterranean Kale & White Bean Soup with Sausage

Longest title for a recipe ever, but I had all the ingredients in my new pantry. I adapted the below from Fine Cooking.

Ingredients

1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage (about 3 links)*
2 tablespoons olive oil
Half yellow onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 pound can cannellini or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained, or 2 cups cooked dried beans
8 cups packed kale, rinsed, stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces*
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

*I used sweet turkey sausage and only had about 4 cups of kale.

To make

Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Remove sausage from casings and add the sausage to oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a plate, leaving any rendered fat in the pot.

Add the remaining olive oil to the pot, increase the heat to medium high, and add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften and brown, about 2 minutes more. Be sure to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the garlic, pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat.

When the broth reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium, add the sausage along with any collected juices, and half the beans. Mash the remaining beans with a fork or wooden spoon and add them to the pot, stirring to distribute. Stir in the kale and simmer until the kale is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Simmer

Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

The results

This soup was a breeze to pull together. I came home, threw my soaked beans in the oven for 90 minutes to get nice and tender while I unpacked some boxes. Good multitasking time.

The rest of the process took a bit under an hour and some more babysitting, but still pretty easy. This complex deliciousness was my reward for putting all my clothes away.

Final

This tastes like you worked much harder on it than you did. I loved the balance of the broth with the sausage and veggies, and the lemon is a great finishing touch.

For serving I loaded up on the pepper and I would add a bay leaf or two in the future as well.

This is a nice winter soup to add to your rotation. And we have enough to eat for lunch through the rest of the week. Success!

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