Wednesday, March 04, 2009

White Bean and Sausage Soup

I had a carnivorous fit while walking through the grocery store. I hadn't eaten meat in 2 weeks or so and was craving IT ALL! So, I bought Italian sausage. I buy sausage literally 2 times a year, and it's only to make my mom's lasagna. This sausage, though, was special. I wanted it in a soup, so into a soup it went.

This is a full, flavorful, hearty soup, perfect for fall and winter. I can't imagine eating it in summertime, but it felt so right to spoon it steaming from a bowl while the snow fell thickly outside the window. I don't think I could eat it more than a few times a year just because of what seemed to be a LOT of sausage, but it definitely hit the spot when I wanted it, and I'll make it again when I'm overtaken by meat-loving urges.

2 cups dried white beans, soaked overnight.
1 large onion, chopped
1 and 1/4 pound hot Italian sausage
6 cloves garlic
1 quart canned tomatoes, broken up into small pieces (My home-canned tomatoes are quite soft, so this is easy. You may wish to use diced tomatoes instead.)
chicken broth
1 tbsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
a pinch of red pepper flakes
@ 8-10 oz. frozen spinach (I used frozen flat leaf spinach and then chopped it on the cutting board while it was still frozen)

Like most soups, this is an easy, throw-together soup, but here are some simple directions. Soak the dry beans in water overnight. The next day, drain them and put them in a pot with as much chicken broth/water as you'd like. Bring to a boil and simmer until beans are soft. Meanwhile, brown the hot sausage with the chopped onions in a touch of olive oil until meat is cooked and onions are translucent. Add garlic, tomatoes, and spices and cook for a few more minutes. Chop the frozen spinach (if you were smart enough to buy the spinach already chopped, don't bother). Add the sausage mixture to the bean/broth mixture and bring to a boil. Add the chopped spinach and cook for a few minutes until spinach begins to wilt.


Er. Pardon me.
I meant, "Eat!"

Eat. Eat! EAT!!!!

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