Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sausage, Kale, and White Bean Soup

It seems like kale is the latest "it" superfood. In the last year, it's as if someone in the culinary or nutrition world made it the most trendy thing to cook with. Or am I the only one who's noticed this?

I never knew what it was until a couple of years ago when someone made a kale salad for a church potluck. And it was really tasty and hearty! I thought, "Hey! This is what they used to use as filler in the dining commons salad bar to make it look pretty!" Yep, I worked in the dining commons back in college, and sure enough, they used kale as a garnish on the salad attempt to make the bowls of sunflower seeds and thousand island dressing look more appealing to 18 year old freshmen. Who knew you could eat it too?

After eating that yummy salad at church, I started playing with it - especially now as it comes in my CSA box. It can be used like any other dark green - like spinach or chard. It works great in stews and soups.

I made a sausage and kale soup a couple of weeks ago. This soup was adapted from a Pioneer Woman recipe for sausage, potato, and kale soup. I swapped out the potatoes for Cannellini beans and used less dairy, but other than that it's pretty close. Mom was here last weekend and had some for lunch. She said she liked it. You might like it, too.

Here's the step-by-step:

Dice half an onion.

Add the onion to a big stock pot with 2 cloves of crushed garlic. I use Dorot frozen garlic. It comes in these perfect portioned cubes and are great if you tend to let fresh garlic go to waste (like me).

Saute the onions and garlic in 2 T of oil with a dash of salt until tender and translucent.

Cut up 3 links of fully cooked chicken sausage in half moons.

Add the sausage into the pot, with 1/4 tsp red chili flakes, and a bay leaf.

Add about 4-5 cups of chicken stock.

Drain and rinse a can of cannellini beans and add to the pot.

When the soup is boiling, add one bunch of kale leaves (washed, de-stemmed, and torn into bite-size pieces).

When the greens are wilted, add 1/4 cup half and half. This adds a little more love to the pot!

Let simmer for 15-20 minutes to let the flavors get acquainted in the pot.
And that's pretty much it! You can add salt and pepper to taste as well. And remove the bay leaf. Serve it warm with a side of crusty French bread or toasted pita triangles. It's hearty, healthy, and has a little kick from the pepper flakes. This meal makes the rainy days in L.A. a little more bearable. Oh, I'm so spoiled here. :)

What have you been making with kale?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, kale is the new coconut water. Haha. I also ignored it for a long time but now I love it.