White Bean, Sausage, and Greens Soup

White Bean, Sausage, and Greens Soup

Committee meeting working lunch, 2/23/12

This soup is hearty and satisfying. Combine with a piece of bread to make a complete, flavorful, and inexpensive meal. For more information on cooking beans, see the dry bean guide.

  • 2 teaspoons canola, vegetable, or olive oil, divided
  • ½ pound Italian sausage, or other sausage, sliced into ⅓” thick rounds
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped*
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped*
  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 can white beans (cannellini, great northern, or navy), 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans, or .5 lb dry white beans, soaked 8-24 hours and drained*
  • optional additions: 1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 10 ounces fresh or frozen greens (spinach, kale, or chard, or frozen collard greens)*
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Stovetop instructions (for canned or cooked beans):
In a large pot, heat 1 teaspoon oil. When hot, add sliced sausage and brown on both sides. Remove cooked sausage to a plate and return pot to the stove. Heat remaining teaspoon oil. Add chopped onion and cook over medium heat until beginning to brown, 7-9 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.

Add stock to the pot, scraping to release any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Return the sausage to the pot, then add beans (and bay leaf and rosemary, if desired). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Add greens and cook 5-20 minutes more, until greens are fully cooked and tender (time will depend on type of greens and whether they are fresh or frozen – taste them to know when they are done). Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve.

Slow cooker instructions (for soaked dry beans):
In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil. When hot, add sliced sausage and brown on both sides. Remove cooked sausage to the slow cooker and return skillet to the stove. Heat remaining teaspoon oil. Add chopped onion and cook over medium heat until beginning to brown, 7-9 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Remove garlic and onion to the slow cooker. Return the skillet to the stove. Add 1 cup of the stock and heat, scraping to release any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour stock with browned bits into slow cooker.

To the slow cooker, add remaining stock and soaked beans (and bay leaf and rosemary, if desired). Cook on low for 8 hours, then add greens and cook for another 30-45 minutes, until greens are fully cooked and tender (time will depend on type of greens and whether they are fresh or frozen – taste them to know when they are done). Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve.

Yield: 5-6 servings

*All of these can be grown in Nebraska and stored for winter use.

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