Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Navy Bean, Sausage and Spinach Soup

Fall.  The perfect time to try out new soup recipes.  This time I wanted to try something with white beans and kale.  Unfortunately, I was unable to get my hands on my favorite Russian kale.  Sadness.  So I grabbed some spinach and tried this recipe, instead.

This is a hearty soup, reminiscent of Lentil Kielbasa Soup.  I may try it again without the sausage and more spinach.  A small bowl is quite filling.

I've been on a dry bean kick, but you could easily substitute the dried beans with four 15oz cans of navy beans (or any white bean) and skip the soaking/precooking step.

Navy Bean, Sausage and Spinach Soup
(Adapted from Budget Byte)

14 oz. smoked sausage
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 lb. dry navy beans
1 whole bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried rosemary
pepper to taste
3 cups chicken stock
2-3 cups water (I used the water from cooking the beans)
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

The night before you plan to make the soup, sort through the beans and soak them over night.  Then cook them according to the directions on the package until they're just tender.  Set aside (or refrigerate) beans until you're ready to make the rest of the soup.

To make the soup:  slice the sausage into medallions and add them to a large soup pot.  Saute the sausage over medium heat until it is nicely browned, about five minutes. Drain off the excess fat.

Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the soup pot.  Saute for about five minutes more.

Reserve 1½ - 2 cups of the cooked beans and add the remaining beans to the pot along with the bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, some freshly cracked pepper, the water and broth.  Stir everything to combine.  Blend the reserved beans with an immersion bender.  Add the blended beans to the pot.  This will help thicken the soup. 

Turn the heat up to high and allow the soup to come up to a full boil.  Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and allow the soup to gently boil for an hour or so, until the whole beans are done to your liking.  Stir the pot occasionally.

Stir in the fresh spinach until wilted.  Lastly, stir in the apple cider vinegar. Serve hot.

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