Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Soup Month: White Bean Soup with Sausage and Red Chard

This was the first time I made this soup. I based it on a recipe from Recipe Zaar, but added way more beans and garlic, used chard instead of kale, and 2 kinds of sausage.

There are so many kinds of white beans. I bought some dried navy beans last time at the store because they were the cheapest. So that's what I used here.

The original recipe was for more of a brothy soup containing the beans, sausage, etc. I was going for a more bean-y soup loosened with a little chicken stock.

A note on soup preparation: Rarely do I get a mise-en-place set up. I usually start by chopping an onion (all soups start with onion) and let the pot heat up at the same time. Then, I let the onion cook over medium-low heat while I prep and add the rest of the ingredients. This time I was waiting for the beans to soften, so I got my chopping out of the way.

Now that's some garlic! I wish I had bought more chard. The sausage almost overwhelms it. Speaking of sausage, I used some mild Italian sausage and some elk kielbasa that I had hanging around my freezer (Thanks, Dad!!). I liked the contrast of two different textures - the soft ground sausage melting in with the beans, and the drier, more toothsome, kielbasa.

White Bean Soup with Sausage and Red Chard based on this recipe from Recipe Zaar

1/2 lb mild Italian sausage, ground
2 T olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
9 large garlic cloved, minced (or grated)
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (if using full-sodium, skip the salt)
6 cups canned white beans (or 3 cups dry, soaked overnight)
1 lb kielbasa (elk or otherwise), sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 lb. chard, stems removed and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces (I only bought one bunch chard; should have gotten 2-3)
1 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, working to break into bite-sized pieces, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a plate, leaving any rendered fat in the pot.

2. Add the remaining olive oil to the pot, increase the heat to medium-high, and add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and beginning to soften, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the celery and cook about 2 minutes more.

4. Stir in the garlic, pepper flakes, salt & pepper and cook about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

5. Reduce the heat to medium, add both sausages and HALF the beans.

6. Mash the remaining beans with a fork or potato masher and add them to the pot, stirring to distribute.

7. Stir in the chard. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and continue to cook until the chard is tender, about 20 - 30 minutes. (You may cover the pot loosely to prevent too much reduction in the broth.)

8. Stir in the lemon juice and zest just before serving.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I did some things a little differently. But thank you. My whole family loves this.