I'm back! To all of you lovely readers out there, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Inauguration Day, MLK Day, and all the other big events that I've missed over the past couple months. I've been incredibly busy, but things have settled down to a dull roar and I'm beyond excited to get back to sharing some new dishes with you.
It's the heart of winter here on the east coast, which of course means comfort food. Unfortunately Nemo missed DC, but there's the possibility for some snow later in the week. Really, all I want is another Snowpocalypse, because I'm SO good at being snowed in. Either way, this time of year definitely calls for lots of soup. This version is hearty and healthy, and vibrant and full of color to perk up a dark winter day. It's also a great excuse to eat a couple of slices of freshly baked bread (which I'll share soon)!
Start with some vegetables: carrots, celery, onion, and garlic.
Dice them up, and sauté in olive oil in a large saucepan. Save the garlic for the last minute of sautéing. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Next, peel and cube a butternut squash. Fresh is best, but I actually used frozen, which I do not recommend unless it's the only option. In my case, there were absolutely no butternut squashes available in the store so I bought a bag of frozen squash. I found that it got soft and mushy once it was cooked though, so the extra work of a fresh squash is definitely worth it if it's available.
Add the squash and some thyme (fresh if you have it, but dried is OK too). Sauté for three more minutes.
Now add the liquid: one carton of chicken broth and a can of diced tomatoes.
Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for at least 15 - 30 minutes. The longer it cooks, the more the flavors develop. You can also add additional liquid here (1-2 cups of water) depending on how much broth you prefer. I chose not to add any extra, since I'm not a huge fan of broth and like my soup to be almost stew-like.
While it's simmering, prepare the greens, beans, and sausage. You can use any type of greens you prefer - collard, kale, swiss chard, or anything similar. I used dinosaur kale. Rinse it off, cut out the stems, and cut it into bite size pieces.
Drain and rinse the beans. I used Great Northern beans, but you can use Cannellini or Navy instead. This is a good explanation of the difference between the three.
Halve and slice three to four chicken sausages and sauté in small pan to lightly brown.
When the soup is done simmering, add the sausage and beans and stir.
Next, add the greens. The greens will wilt once they're heated, so slowly stir to incorporate them into the soup.
Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, and then it's ready to serve! With some warm crusty bread, of course.
This soup reheats and freezes well. Freeze individual portions in a Ziploc freezer bag and defrost in the fridge before reheating.
White Bean, Sausage, and Greens Soup
Adapted from Simply Scrumptious
1 yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups greens, chopped
3 - 4 cooked chicken sausages, sliced
Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
- Saute onion, carrots, and celery in olive oil for 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add butternut squash and thyme and sauté for 3 more minutes.
- Add broth, diced tomatoes, and 1 - 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 - 30 minutes.
- Add the white beans and sausage and cook for 10 minutes. Add the greens and stir until greens are wilted.
- Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with crusty bread.