Kielbasa, Kale and White Bean Soup

Jan 18th

You should be making homemade soup. I know that sounds bossy but truth be told, I’ve been called bossy too many times to count (so I’m sort of okay with it). It’s just so EASY that it’s actually hard to mess up. Kielbasa is not something I usually buy; I had to ask a store employee to help me find it. Turns out there’s all sorts of smoked sausage type foods. I used turkey kielbasa which made for a much lighter soup, but the flavor was all there. Feel free to try it with regular and let me know how it goes!

There is some prep work involved when you make soup because it almost always starts with a mirepoix (carrots, celery and onion), and this particular soup uses greens (which you can buy pre-cleaned, pre-chopped). Otherwise it’s just opening cans! Do you have a fave chicken broth? I read an article in America’s Test Kitchen about chicken broth and they pointed me in the right direction (as always) with Better than Bouillon Chicken Base (I buy the organic version at Costco). It saves packaging and loads of money, plus the flavor is spot on. Anyway – try this soup if you’ve been enjoying some comfort eating and your jeans are tight. It’s full of protein and fiber as well as tons of healthy veggies. Plus, it makes a big batch so you can freeze half for a second dinner!

Kielbasa, Kale and White Bean Soup

Serves 8-10

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion, or 2 small, diced

4 carrots, diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes

12 c. chicken broth

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

3-4 inch parmesan rind*

26 oz. turkey kielbasa, sliced into half moons

1 can (15 oz) small white beans (navy beans), drained and rinsed

1 bunch kale, stemmed and torn or chopped into bite size

Parmesan cheese, for serving

*Parmesan rind is what you get when you buy the triangle of parmesan cheese and then grate it as you need it. When all that’s left is the rind, you put it in a ziplock bag and freeze it. See photo below. Then, you use it to flavor soup. If you do not have a parmesan rind on the ready, just omit this ingredient. 

1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium high heat.

2. Add onion, carrot, celery, salt and crushed red pepper. Saute until softened, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

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3. Add tomatoes with their juices and scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir to combine.

4. Add broth, thyme and parmesan rind and increase heat to high. Heat until boiling and reduce to medium.

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5. Add kielbasa, beans and kale and simmer until kale is tender, about five minutes. Remove parmesan rind and thyme stems. Serve, topped with cheese.

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