white bean and sausage soup

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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