Monday, July 7, 2008

Italian Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup



You would think with all of this hot summer weather that my family would be craving chilled things like cold soups and homemade ice cream. Perhaps we will feel that way next week, but today when planning our grocery list my husband and I were excited about Italian sausage and beans. We feasted tonight on this hearty soup and I can honestly say that the dinner tasted just as delicious and fulfilling in July as we expect it will in November! For perfection, serve it with your favorite salad and gluten free dinner rolls.

Just one note - thanks to the parmesan rind, pancetta, chicken bouillion and Italian sausage involved there is definitely a risk of over salting this soup... so I wouldn't recommend adding any additional salt! We're pretty crazy for fresh onions and garlic here, so I may even try adding more in the future. The kale was a great touch, as were the crimini mushrooms. Enjoy!


Italian Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup

What You'll Need:

Organic Navy beans, 2 cans
Italian Sausage, 1 lb (Sweet or Hot, depending on how you like it)
Pancetta, thinly sliced - 3 pieces
Carrots, 3 - thinly sliced
Onion, 1 medium - minced
Garlic, 6 cloves - minced
Parmesan rind (Take the rind of 4oz parmesan and use only half of it)
White wine, 1/2 cup
Kale, 3 handfuls leaves - stems removed
Rosemary, 1 tsp
Sage, 1 tsp
Bay leaf (1) - optional
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1/4 tsp salt
Crimini mushrooms, 1 large handful - chopped
Crushed tomatoes, 28 ounces
Olive Oil
Chicken bouillion (3 - 4 cups)
3 - 5 tbsp water


How It Works:

Pour the tablespoons of water into deep soup pot (9.5 x 6.5) and turn heat to medium high. Trim ends off of your Italian sausages and place them in the water. Puncture the sausages with the tip of a sharp knife about once every inch or so to allow steam to escape as they boil. (I learned this technique from Alex Haas' Low Carb Cooking, and it works really well!)

Cover pot and boil sausages in the water. When the liquid has evaporated, the sausages will begin to brown. Turn them over so that both sides brown evenly. Remove links from pot and set aside, but leave residual fats in pot.


Next, cook pancetta in the remaining sausage fats - making sure not to let burn. (Another option is to cook it in the microwave.) Remove crispy pancetta and place it with sausage links. Deglaze your pot with white wine, then add minced garlic, onions and thinly sliced carrots and cook on medium low heat until onions are clear. Sautee the crimini mushrooms in a seperate pan and set aside.

Slice sausage links into thick rounds. Return them to pot, along with the vegetables, sauteed mushrooms, pancetta, chicken bouillion, crushed tomatoes, one can of Navy beans, rosemary, sage, salt, pepper, bay leaf and one small parmesan rind. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer partially covered between 90 minutes and 2 hours. For best results, simmer at extremely low temperature for several hours!


When you are about 15 - 20 minutes away from serving, add the three large handfuls of kale torn by hand into bite sized pieces, and stir them into your soup. Make sure you are using only kale leaves and not the actual stems. Do not add the kale too early or it will end up very soggy and lose some of its texture. At this time you should add in the 2nd can of Navy beans.

In general the longer you simmer the soup, the fuller its flavoring will be. Remove parmesan rind and bay leaf before serving.


Serves 6 - 8. Cheese lovers may choose to top their bowl with a cloud of grated parmesan.

2 comments:

Pukas said...

oo! oo!
I think I'll try this one this weekend!

by the way, your recommendation of xanthan gum has worked wonders thus far. I haven't perfected the brownie recipe, but next time I get a good result, I'll forward you the proportions

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