Although spring is inching it's way in to Southern California, we're still very much enjoying our winter vegetable crop. I know this because I'm still getting lovely winter squashes, beets, and greens that thrive in our winter climate from my CSA Harvest2U.
So, for this rainy Wednesday afternoon in Southern California, I'm going to share a recipe for some serious winter comfort food. If you've ever had that sausage and potato soup from the Olive Garden you'll know exactly where I'm getting my inspiration for this South Beach Diet friendly and Gluten Free (GF) version of this yummy tummy warmer.
Here's what you'll need:
1 1/2 cup dried white beans. (sorted, rinsed and soaked 8 hours)
2T olive oil
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion diced
3-4 celery ribs diced (more if you like)
salt - to taste
pepper - to taste
herbs de provence (2-4T)
1 pound ground italian sausage (I used mild turkey sausage, but use whatever heat you like. Just make sure it's a low fat meat)
Chicken stock (I used a little more than one 32oz box)
1 large bunch of kale (rinsed and given a rough chop)
1/2c grated parmigiano-reggiano
red pepper flakes (optional)
In a stock pot or dutch oven heat olive oil and add celery, onion and garlic and saute until the onions become translucent. Add your salt and pepper and herbs de province.
Add sausage to the pan and brown.
Once sausage is browned add your kale and saute until kale begins to wilt.
Add white beans to the pot and stir.
Add enough chicken stock to cover the solid ingredients.
Give everything a good stir, cover and cook on low until beans reach desired tenderness. I cooked mine about 45 minutes. I also stirred about every 15 minutes.
Ladle this winter wonderfulness into your favorite bowl and top with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese and red pepper flakes (optional) if desired.
Here's a photo of the version without red pepper flakes for one of the boys. And just in case you were curious, my three year old told me that he likes "the soup with meat and salad in it"....how could you not laugh?