Better late than never! Our first Texas cold front came in yesterday, and it is likely the coldest it’s going to get for awhile. It’s probably going to last a couple of days before rising back up to 80’s again. We will gladly take it though!
This morning’s chill transported me back to our New York City days when we had our first cold fronts usually in early September. The leaves in Central Park would quickly change from green to red, yellow, and orange, and everyone seemed instantly happier. If you ask a New Yorker their favorite season, 9 times out of 10 they are going to tell you fall. We would celebrate the start of fall with cozy bowls of ramen, gourmet hot chocolate from one of the many bakeries, or a walk through Central Park. Honestly, those days feels like a lifetime ago!! We are pretty excited to be taking Camila there for the first time later this month, and show her how “cool” her parents were before she was born, although if she could talk she would say something like, “You are still the coolest, mom!”
I’ve been making versions of this sausage, white bean, and kale soup for years and figured it was high time I write the recipe down. For this version, I started with dried beans instead of canned, which I highly recommend if you have the time because 1) it’s more affordable and 2) it soaks up all the flavors of the soup and truly does taste so much better. But, if you didn’t plan ahead and need to eat in the next 30 minutes, I won’t tell if you use the canned variety.
Hope you are cozied up indoors this weekend, and have a bowl of something hot to warm your bellies!
Sausage, White Bean, and Kale Soup
1 lb. dried cannelloni or great white northern beans
2 - 3 links cooked sausage, about half a pound, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1/2 large onion, diced small
Salt and pepper to taste
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
32 oz chicken broth
2 cups of water
1 bay leaf
2 large sprigs rosemary
2 - 3 large handfuls of curly kale, washed and stems removed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Soak the dried beans in a large bowl filled with water overnight, or for at least 6 hours, in the refrigerator. (Water should cover beans by a couple of inches). Drain and rinse the beans and set aside.
Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add about a tablespoon or more of olive oil. Once warm, add sliced sausage. Since sausage is already cooked, you are just browning the edges. After sausage is browned (only a couple of minutes), remove with a slotted spoon onto a plate.
Add some more oil to the pan if needed. Add the diced onion, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 -5 minutes, or until onion starts to become soft and translucent. Add the bell pepper and carrots and cook for 2 -3 minutes until beginning to soften. Stir in the garlic but only cook for about a minute, or until fragrant.
Add the dried beans and cooked sausage to the pot. Pour in the chicken broth, water, bay leaf, and rosemary sprigs. Stir together, and then bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, then cover the pot with a lid. Simmer everything together for 45 minutes - 1 hour, or until beans are soft and cooked through.
Remove the bay leaf and rosemary sprigs, and season to taste with more salt and pepper. Stir in the kale, it will wilt but still hold its shape. Add the fresh parsley and red pepper flakes.