Chicken Sausage, Kale, and White Bean Soup

An easy, hearty soup that will cook itself for you in the crock pot. You can definitely do this with vegetarian sausage, and you can probably also do it on your stove-top in far less time. But if you have a slow cooker, and you want your house to smell like ambrosia for several hours, follow these easy steps.

Zuppa di Yum:

  • 28 oz tomato purée or crushed tomatoes
  • 28 oz water (fill the tomato can and call it a day)
  • 3 veggie stock cubes (or enough stock base to make 3 cups of stock–you won’t actually add stock, just the mix)
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
  • 2 15-oz cans of cannellini beans, drained
  • 2-3 handfuls of kale, fresh or frozen
  • 3-4 mild Italian chicken sausages–roughly 10-12 oz–sliced into roundels or half-roundels
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar

Place all of the above ingredients in your crock pot. Set the pot to low and cover it. (If you would rather not put your sausage in raw, you can lightly pan-fry it or nuke it in the microwave for a couple minutes, so that the outside cooks–but I have to say that it gets nice and tender if you don’t pre-cook it.)

If you’ll be out of the house, leave the pot on low for 6-8 hours. If you’re sticking around, you can quick-start the soup by setting the pot to high for the first two hours, and then putting it on low for an additional 3-4. The last step is to taste the soup, and add more spices if needed. If it’s too tomatoey for you, simply add some extra water.

This makes about 5 servings. You can also add cooked pasta at the end to bulk it up. I can’t claim to be the first person to put kale and white beans together, because recipes with these ingredients are floating around everywhere nowadays, but I can assure you that this is a tasty one!

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