If you’re visiting from Life as MOM’s Ultimate Recipe Swap (fast cooking meals), you may also appreciate:
- The Best Scrambled Eggs Ever
- Tuscan Bean Soup
- California Chicken Wraps
- Salmon Patties
- Turkey Chili-Topped Turkey Burgers (another Rachel Ray recipe)
- Sausage Spinach Pasta Toss
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:
- We thought broccoli rabe was awfully bitter
- Kale is an in-season, local item in the summer
- 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.
Super foods: SEVEN, if you use the EVOO anyway, turkey sausage, and kale (along with onions, garlic, beans, and stock), plus one honorable mention (carrots).
Cost: $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: 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.
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 use kale? It has its own impressive list of health benefits here.
I’m pleased to participate in:
- Try It Tuesday at Naturally Knocked Up
- The $5 Dinner Challenge this week
- This week‘s Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap
- Pennywise Platter Thursday at The Nourishing Gourmet
- Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum
- Friday Feasts at NewBorn Mom
- Share my Recipe Sunday at Organize with Sandy
- Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale
If you missed the last Monday Mission, (reducing plastic bag comsumption this week!) click here.
Other Soup Recipe Connections: