Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Recipe Connection: Sausage, Bean and Kale Soup

July 14th, 2009 · 14 Comments · Frugality, Recipes, Super Foods

Sausage Bean and Kale Soup

If you’re visiting from Life as MOM’s Ultimate Recipe Swap (fast cooking meals), you may also appreciate:

Back when I had time to watch the Food Network while nursing (that happens when you have your FIRST child, and then never again!), I caught a soup a la Rachael Ray that sounded interesting.  This was just as I was starting to get into healthier food, but wasn’t really a diva in the kitchen.  This soup marks one of my first “buy an ingredient you’ve never heard of before” escapades. The original uses a green called broccoli rabe (pronounced “rob”), which I actually found in my grocery store and used the first time.  Rachael Ray said I could substitute kale or spinach, though, and since then I have, because:

  1. We thought broccoli rabe was awfully bitter
  2. Kale is an in-season, local item in the summer
  3. I like recipes that help me use up a huge box of spinach when it goes on sale

I think it’s important to be able to adapt recipes to (a) make them fit your style and family’s preferences and (b) upgrade the nutrition.  I’m going to publish RR’s original recipe with my comments and changes in italics.  For those of you who would like to print my version, click here for a clean copy.  For the original, click here.  For other ideas to include broth and/or beans in your summer fare check out this post:  Ways to Use Broth and Beans in the Summer

Sausage, Beans and Broccoli Rabe Soup

(Recipe by Rachael Ray)

  • 2 Tbs Extra-virgin olive oil (could use less to none…and when is someone going to tell RR that EVOO is not very stable for sauteeing?!?)
  • 1 ¼ lbs bulk Italian sweet sausage (can use 1 lb. roll sausage (like Bob Evans or Jimmy Dean, hot or regular) or turkey and sausage seasoning instead)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and chopped (or leave the peels on for nutrients, especially if you have organic potatoes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped (chop and leave for 7 minutes before heating for optimal health benefits; don’t overcook)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed (I of course try to use dry beans most of the time; see how to cook them)
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 c. broccoli rabe and greens (as I mentioned above, I prefer kale and use spinach if I have it)
  • 2 qts chicken broth or stock (homemade, without question)
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, to pass at table (Ummm, where would one find that?!  I use the ready-to-go stuff in the bottle.  I recently purchased my first “real” Parmesan cheese, which is fun, but I’m not going to go out of my way to have it on hand.)

Heat medium soup pot over medium-high heat (medium-low if using EVOO!).  Add the oil and sausage and brown.  (I always drain the fat; I don’t use pastured pork or turkey yet…)  Add veggies, bay leaf and beans.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes to soften veggies.  Add greens and wilt.  Add stock and cover.  Raise heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.  Serve with grated cheese for topping.

sausage, bean and kale soup

Super foodsSEVEN, if you use the EVOO anyway, turkey sausage, and kale (along with onions, garlic, beans, and stock), plus one honorable mention (carrots).
$3 or $4.00 if everything is at its cheapest ($1 for ground turkey, $1 for on-sale spinach, free stock, and $1 for 2 cans of beans or less for dry) added bonus

Added Bonus:  This is of course a quick-fix (30 minutes IF you chop like a Food Network star!) meal, and my favorite part is buying almost every ingredient at the Farmer’s Market this time of year.

On the show I saw, Rachael Ray served this with a yummy grilled tomato, fresh basil and mozzarella sandwich. This has become one of our family’s favorite dipping sandwiches, especially in the summer when tomatoes are local and basil is fresh.  We just improved on it a little this week by using fresh pesto instead of basil.  The flavor was more evenly spread, and you didn’t have to bite through a big basil leaf or risk it coming out of the sandwich. That’s how we’ll do it from now on, and I can freeze my pesto in little plops, then thaw one for the fresh basil taste in the winter.  Woo hoo!

We grill them on our George Foreman, by the way, just like this chicken wrap.

money Adding the sandwiches probably adds a dollar or so to the meal, depending a great deal on how expensive your tomatoes are and how thickly you slice your mozzarella!

Why might you want to substitute turkey sausage for pork?  Turkey is a Super Food and has great health benefits, like super high protein…click here for more.

Why use kale? It has its own impressive list of health benefits here.

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14 Comments so far ↓

  • Pennywise Platter Thursday 7/16

    [...] @ Kitchen Stewardship Sausage, Bean and Kale Soup This soup is great for in-season Farmer’s Market fare, has a very unique taste, and an even [...]

  • Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

    I love soups like this! We make one very similar. Thanks for sharing. :-)

    Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet’s last blog post..Pennywise Platter Thursday 7/16

  • bj

    We love soups…thanks for the recipe

    bj’s last blog post..…..when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie….

  • Mary

    This sounds terrific. Thanks for sharing your recipe and tips with us. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Mary’s last blog post..Pistachio Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese Medallions – Foodie Friday

  • darnold23

    Great recipe and I loved the adaptations. You might try the broccoli rabe again and blanch it before adding it. Then again, I love kale:) Beginning August 5, I will be hosting Crock Pot Wednesdays on I hope you will join me. THERE WILL BE PRIZES:)

    darnold23’s last blog post..HEIRLOOM TOMATO PIE with Foodie Friday and Friday Feasts

  • SentimentsbyDenise

    This sounds incredibly good! I love spinach in soups!

    SentimentsbyDenise’s last blog post..Summer Salads – Waldorf

  • Martha

    Looks good. Thank you! By the way, you can nurse and watch the food network if the Lord gives you a child after a 7 year gap! :)

  • Nicole Feliciano

    Thanks so much for linking. Hope to see you again next week! I am so excited this linky is growing (27 recips-yeah!). I might even get a fun little button to display on Momtrends.

  • Bugaboo

    This soup sounds uber yummy! Can’t wait to add to my soup schedule; I *heart* soups!

  • tonya

    i’m surprised you’d pick the green can parm over the real stuff. you can get the real stuff pre grated. parm is pricey though.

    Katie Reply:

    I may blog healthy, but I’m def not a nutritional elitist. Cheese is one area I have not tackled at all, and Parm will probably be the last to go b/c we don’t go through it that fast. I’m still doing regular old cheese, not raw, organic, hormone-free or anything. *cringe* So yep, budget and sanity-wise, we got the green-topped Parm! :) Katie

    tonya Reply:

    even more surprised that you’ve yet to tackle cheese.

    another milk misnomer…all milk is hormone free. it can’t be sold with hormone residue.

    Katie Reply:

    Oy. So much to learn.

    Remember the foundation of my site is baby steps…and I’m a baby stepper if ever there was one!

  • Elizabeth

    So glad you posted this on FB! I just bought some turkey sausage and was trying to figure out what to do with it! I’ll be picking up some Kale tomorrow at the Farmer’s market! Oh, I love tomato, basil, and mozzarella sandwiches (I’ve never grilled it though). I usually chiffonade the basil and that helps, but HM pesto is also fantastic on sandwiches too!

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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