Spicy Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup
By Heather Lang
Beans are so interchangeable. While they all have a very different size, shape, texture and flavour they all lend themselves perfectly to any recipe. Wholesome, toothy, meaty little pods of deliciousness.
I love making recipes that are not limited to the boundaries of a strict recipe. Being allowed to use your creativity as well as what you actual have on hand makes for a very personal dish as well as a unique experience each time you make it.
I am going to tell you what I used for this recipe but will point out where substitutions would work perfectly. While you can substitute canned beans I actually preferred dried. This soup will simmer for a while and you want the beans to really hold up.
Bean Prep Time: 12 hours of soaking the dried beans.
Soup Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 -2 hours
- 1 lb. dried white beans ( use canned or whatever bean you have on hand)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 spicy Italian sausage links, casings removed (you can use mild sausage, chorizo or any other ground meat you have on hand)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, sliced in half moons
- 1 rutabaga, diced (you can use any root vegetables like parsnips or sweet potato or potato instead of the carrot and rutabaga)
- 8 cups of stock
- Optional : 1 cup beer ( I prefer to use a wheat beer but you can use a lager or pale ale)
- three bay leaves
- 2 tsp dried oregano ( also can use thyme, basil, Italian seasoning)
- Optional : Rind of parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 cups kale, chopped ( you can also use chard, spinach, or any other hardy green)
- To soak your dried beans place in a large bowl and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Let soak at least 12 hours. Drain.
- In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium high heat.
- Add the sausage meat, breaking up into smaller pieces with the back of your spoon.
- Cook the sausage until starting to brown, 5 minutes.
- Add the onion and garlic. Sauté until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
- Add the carrots and rutabaga and cook another 2 minutes.
- Add the beans, stock, beer ( if using), bay leaves, spices and parmesan. Bring to a boil.
- Once it has come up to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour.
- Stir in the kale and continue to simmer. You can enjoy the soup once the kale is soft or let it simmer for longer. The soup tastes better the longer you let everything cook and even better the next day. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with some fresh bread and enjoy!