white bean and sausage soup


this photo really, really made me want to call this pacman soup.

even though i was never a big pacman – or pacwoman - fan.  i do best with video games where frantically press buttons at random.  totes gave my little bro, future doctor of america, a run for his money at mortal combat.  totes barely got past the third level of super mario bros. 

such is life.  he can still beat me at pretty much anything that doesn't involve spelling.

anyway.  winter is arriving.  it's still early – my cut off for an outdoor run is still 40, not 30. 

but between the chilly gray weather and the abundance of holiday parties, i've been craving vegetables.  hearty, virtuous vegetables.

so, one night after yoga i made my annual pot-o-soup.  you know how i feel about soup.  but about once a year, after winter has hit, i like a nice hearty bowl of soup.

i made this soup with what i had on hand.  started with some sausage.


yes, i know i said i was craving veggies.  but, let's be honest.  the best veggie recipes usually start with some sort of bacon/pancetta/sausage product.

cause . . . all those little brown bits in the pan?  flavor, baby.  saute some onions in that . . . so much better than olive oil.

then loaded it up.  can of beans, can of tomatoes, abandoned baby carrots.


let it simmer.  throw in a parmesan rind if you've got one.  some bay leaves.  peppercorns.

and at the end . . . greens.  i had a sad little handful of kale, but some frozen spinach rounded it out.  the kale had a much better bite in the finished product.

this was a really hearty soup.  spicy sausage played up the richness of the beans, the sweet carrots and acidic tomatoes added a nice balance.  a little red wine in the beef broth rounded out the flavor.

in short, YUM.  lunch and dinner for a week and a half.  happy winter!


Winter White Bean & Sausage Soup

  • 4 sausages, I recommend Aidells – one of the spicy flavors
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 can white beans, rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 cups baby carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 cups kale or spinach, roughly chopped (use less if you're using frozen)
  • 1 carton beef or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • Salt to taste

Saute sausage in large pot until brown.  Add onions and soften.  Add everything else, EXCEPT THE GREENS, and simmer at least 20 minutes and until the veggies are tender.  Add the kale and/or spinach and cook for another few minutes.  Very good with more parmesan grated on top and with a crusty baguette.

braised red cabbage


i have a question. why is it called red cabbage, when it is clearly purple cabbage? and when cooked, such a glorious fuchsia pink?

and i've got a double dose of pink and purple for you here today.

purple was definitely my favorite color when i was little. i was known to wear head to toe, socks included, purple outfits. when i was really little, i had a great (well, it's all relavant right?  i remember giggling.) game with my east coast aunts where they would ask me first my favorite colors – pink and purple – then the colors for christmas, the colors for halloween, the colors for fourth of july.

any five year old worth her salt knows the answer.





i love cabbage, the crunch and slight bitterness, but mostly the watery crunch. very satisfying.

however, i'm about the braise the bajesus out of this poor cabbage. don't worry, braising makes pretty much anything better.

including apples.


granny smith apples for sweetness and tang. these are sturdy apples, just what you want for a braise.

we're also going to add apple cider vinegar to punch that flavor up.  


and sage. cause it's fall, and sage is wonderful. especially fresh sage, so furry and soft. it's like the kitten of herbs.

you know how i feel about kittens.

let's file this one under cute.

manchego files

too cheesy? too blurry? too bad. it's my blog, and i'll post all the cheesy blurry cat photos i want.

anyway, back to dinner. i served the cabbage with . . . pork!


sage and milk braised pork. it's fall. we're gonna be braising all kinds of stuff around here.

but, honestly, i had just cabbage for dinner night two with some crusty bread and it was divine all on its own.

Braised Red Cabbage

Adapted from Spilled Milk. Their recipe called for caraway seeds, which I'd love to try, but didn't have on hand.  And you've seen the state of my spices . . . it just wouldn't be fair to introduce a new innocent spice bottle to that hot mess.

  • Olive oil
  • Half a red onion, chopped
  • Half a red cabbage, sliced
  • 2 medium granny smith apples, shredded
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp or more fresh sage, chopped

Heat oil in a large skillet or dutch oven with a lid, add red onion saute until soft.  Add remaining ingredients and cook, covered but stirring occasionally, about an hour until the cabbage is tender but not mushy.