I just can’t stop making soup, even when it’s ninety degrees outside.
You may think of soup, broth, and hearty beans as purely a winter thing, but with all the fresh produce coming into my house (from the Farmer’s Market…remember, the organic gardening series were all guest posts!) I can’t help but make some of my favorites.
This soup is fantastic in the winter, too, and often gets made when spinach is abundantly on sale in the grocery store (spinach makes a great substitute for the kale). However, it’s the dipping sandwiches that make this soup really special, and any tomato found in a grocery store is less than subpar. It’s got to be a summer thing.
I definitely advocate making your own easy chicken stock, but sometimes you just want something quick and easy for those busy days. Kettle & Fire has scrupulous standards and is basically exactly what you’d make at home, 24 hour cooking, just done-for-you.
The Everything Beans Book has twenty pages of beany information, including all you could possibly want to know about legume nutrition, how to cook dry beans, and lots of time-saving tips for managing this frugal source of protein and fiber more often in your kitchen.
It also offers 30 bean recipes, for the bean lovers of the world and the bean haters.
- 2 Tbs. Extra-virgin
- 1/2 or 1 lb. bulk Italian sweet or hot sausage, or use homemade sausage seasoning and any ground meat
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2–3 carrots, chopped
- 1 large potato, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
- pepper and
- 4 c. fresh kale (or other leafy green like spinach)
- 2 quarts chicken broth or stock
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, to pass at table
- Heat medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and sausage and brown.
- 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.
Any ground meat can be transformed into homemade sausage with the right seasoning blend. Adjust spice to taste with cayenne.
You can leave the peels on the potatoes for nutrients, especially if you have organic.
Allow the crushed garlic to rest for 7 minutes before heating for optimal health benefits; don’t overcook.
I always encourage dry beans when you can; see how to cook them. For this recipe, you can use anywhere from 3-5 cups of cooked white beans. I make the whole bag and simply store any leftovers in the freezer!
Of course you’re going to use homemade chicken stock, without question, right?
(Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray)
The Sandwich Dipper for Summer Soup
It’s truly the sandwich that takes a good soup up to “great.”
Layer sliced tomato, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil (or alternately, a spread of pesto) on a sandwich. Brush the outsides with olive oil, either heated gently with fresh crushed garlic in a frying pan first, or take the easy route and use and garlic powder.
Grill like you would any grilled cheese OR on a George Foreman like this chicken wrap, and prepare to be amazed at what happens when grilled cheese grows up. It gets sophisticated. The way the flavors blend together with the soup is simply divine.
Best on homemade sourdough, but any hearty bread will do!
Looking for more soup recipes? You won’t want to miss the eBook Winter Soups, a compilation from over 50 real food bloggers. I truly enjoy having this book in my collection for all the great new ideas. Check it out here.
What to do with the rest of the sausage:
Other Summer Soup Recipes: