Soups on Sundays are my jam. My sister and I have been making soup on Sunday for several years now and it’s quickly become a little tradition amongst our families to settle in for a bowl on a crisp evening in the fall. I look forward to the experience of searching for new recipes or remaking the ones we love and savoring the flavors and warmth of the season.
A couple of weeks ago, I was shopping at Earth Fare and found they made a smokey andouille pork sausage. It’s spicy and full of smokey wonderfulness. If a soup recipe calls for sausage, you better believe I will be using that sausage. It’s that good.
It’s so good I have a bit of a Pavlovian response to thinking about it in that I’m possibly salivating as I type this post. Maybe.
The soup also features mirepoix, pronounced “meer-PWAH,” a flavor base that traditionally consists of onion, carrots, and celery. If you’re not interested in purchasing all three items separately because you don’t want to chop them, many grocery stores carry the combination pre-chopped in the produce section.
When cooked, the vegetables should be slowly cooked to bring a sweetness from the vegetables. This is in contrast to caramelizing the vegetables which would result in a more earthy or nutty flavor. The sweetness of the vegetables, especially if you use a spicy sausage, will offer a nice contrast to the spiciness of the entire dish. It plays to many parts of the palate.
The tender white beans offer a smooth texture without an overpowering flavor. Their earthy taste complements the sweet and spicy from the other ingredients. The kale is flavorful and healthy in the mixture. My husband, who had reservations about eating a soup with white beans due to some past food poisoning issues, hesitantly tried the soup and wound up with a few servings. It was a true crowd pleaser in our household.
Sausage, White Bean, & Kale Soup
- Olive oil, for browning the sausage and softening veggies
- 1 pound smokey andouille sausage (but any spicy sausage would be divine!)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups of carrots, diced
- 3 stalks of celery, sliced 1/2″ thick
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 5 ounces of curly kale, remove thick stems and chopped to bite size
- 29 ounces of white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 64 ounces of chicken broth
- Bay leaves (1-2, your choice)
- Dash of rosemary
- Dash of thyme
- In a large pot (I used a Le Creuset dutch oven), bring olive oil to temperature over medium high heat.
- Cut the sausage into meaty, bite-sized portions that can fit onto a spoon when cooked down. Once the oil is ready in the pot, add the sausage and brown.
- Once the sausage is browned, remove from the pan and set aside. Place on paper towels or cheese cloth to help drain off the excess oil from cooking.
- In the still hot pan with oil, add the mirepoix. Mirepoix is your chopped onions, carrots, and celery. Soften (not brown) in the heat for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic for the final minute of cooking the vegetables.
- Pour in the 64 ounces of chicken stock. Season with salt, pepper, and rosemary. If you enjoy a particular warm, flavorful spice, this is the time to add it. Toss in one or two bay leaves, as well. Stir to combine with the vegetables. Cook for 10 minutes with a slow rolling boil.
- Add the kale to the slow boil and let it cook for another 5-10 minutes until it appears bright green and wilted. Add back in the sausage and this time add the white kidney beans.
- Let the dish warm the sausage and the white beans for five minutes. Once finished, remove from heat and serve.
For a non-Paleo, non-Whole30 twist, serve with a crusty bread that you can dip in the broth.