Italian Soup with White Beans and Kale {Recipe Redux}

Ω September 22nd, 2015 Ω Tagged , , , , , , Ω 3 Comments


It must be MBA program time again (a.k.a. the singularity that absorbs all free time and spits out bargains with my towering pile of school work for “just one more minute” of blissful sleep). Not that I’m dramatic about it.


Mountains of reading and writing and presentations need satiating fuel that can be whipped up in a flash. Leftovers are a delicious bonus, which is why I jumped for joy with the last of my energy after seeing this month’s Recipe Redux:

Share your tips and tricks for making one – or more freezer meals. It’s the end of the gardening season for some of us; let’s store away that produce in heat-and-eat-from-the-freezer-meals. Show how convenient healthy freezer breakfast, lunches or dinners can be!


Given how many sweet items I’ve made for the last several Recipe Reduxes, I decided it was time to make something savory. Oregon is still flirting with temperatures in the 80s and 90s, yet all I’ve been able to think about recently are bowls of hot, filling soup. Perhaps because tomorrow is the start of the fall season?

In any case, I cooked up this tomato-based soup in the time it takes me to go from busily typing up a business memo to procrastinating on Pinterest (which is to say, almost no time at all). The soup is packed with leafy greens and bursting with rich tomato flavor, while the white beans and sausage supply plenty of protein. The recipe easily can be made vegan by omitting the sausage and using vegetable broth. After all, beans are just as satisfying as meat.

Best of all? I made a double batch, leaving plenty of leftovers to freeze for later.



I’m honestly not sure why I felt a need to take pictures of the flattened, frost-covered bags of leftover soup, but I did and so you get to see them. Waste not, I say.

The recipe is based on these two recipes and is easily customizable. Spice it up with cayenne pepper or add curry for an unusual take on this soup. Your imagination (and perhaps some recipe browsing) is the limit.

Italian Soup with White Beans and Kale

  Prep Time: 10 minutes

  Cook Time: 35 minutes


Ingredients (Serves 16)

  • 2 lb. mild Italian sausage
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2-28 oz. boxes diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups water or chicken broth
  • 2-14.5 oz. cans cannellini beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 cups kale, washed and torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 cup fresh basil


Cut sausage into 1/2-inch slices. Heat canola oil in a 5 quart Dutch oven over medium heat and cook sausage, stirring frequently, until sausage is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Set aside on paper towel-lined plate. Pour off oil.

In the same Dutch oven, add tomatoes, water or broth, cannellini beans, and dried herbs. Add sausage and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. Add kale, parsley, and basil, and cook an additional 5 minutes. Serve with toasted bread or fresh polenta.

Vegan alternative: Omit sausage and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Cook’s Note: This recipe is designed to be made in large batches and frozen. Ladle leftovers into labeled, freezer-safe gallon Ziploc bags and stack flat in the freezer. Can be frozen up to two months.

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Simply Tart Rhubarb Apple Crisp {Recipe Redux}

Ω August 22nd, 2015 Ω Tagged , , , , Ω 5 Comments

rhubarb apple crisp

You’d never know it based on the mercury bursting out the top of our hypothetical old-timey thermometer, but fall is approaching. Soon we’ll be donning wool clothing and making non-ironic pumpkin recipes. I can’t wait. These 100+ degree temperatures have been wearing away at me faster than a hot dessert over ice cream.

Speaking of.


This month’s Recipe ReDux theme had me heading straight for the kitchen with an idea for a hot dessert of my own.

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday/vacation season, August is the time many families get ‘back to routine.’ Show us your favorite recipe to help families get ‘back to the dinner table.’ It might be a favorite family recipe from your childhood that you’ve ReDuxed; or maybe it’s your family’s current favorite. Let’s all gather back at the table!


Peter and I often make fruit desserts in the summer, and one of our favorites is a fruit crisp. While we usually agree on the fruit filling, our interests diverge when it comes to the topping. Peter prefers a butter-filled crumb topping akin to the top layer of a coffee cake while I enjoy a lighter, crunchier topping packed with oats. How do we decide which topping to make? When I make a fruit crisp, I use a crumb topping. When Peter makes one, he uses a crunchy oat topping.

This is marriage, dear reader.


For this recipe, I decided to combine our two loves into a crunchy oat topping with a hint of butter and crumb.

rhubarb apple crisp

Why rhubarb and apple? Unlike the rhubarb strawberry crisp I made a year ago, this crisp contains the perfect marriage of summer-y rhubarb and the quintessential fall apple. (Was that metaphor heavy enough for you?) Light on sugar and heavy on whole grains, this healthy dessert will have you wondering if your life began with the first bite.*

*Results may vary. A bite may cause a reaction ranging from an exclamation of “by golly gee!” to spontaneous bursting into a top ten show tunes song. I can write anything I want here because no one ever reads the fine print anyway. Educate, folks!



If you’re worried there’s not enough sugar in the recipe, don’t be! Remember The Rhubarb Meter?

chartz the second

This recipe is designed to show off the wonderful flavors of rhubarb and apple without being cloyingly sweet. Give it a try, and I’ll bet you won’t miss a single pinch of sugar. Besides, if you serve this dessert with a little vanilla ice cream, isn’t that all the sweetness you need?

rhubarb apple crisp

Simply Tart Rhubarb Apple Crisp

  Prep Time: 15 minutes

  Cook Time: 45 minutes


Ingredients (Serves 16)

  • 2 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced
  • 3 cups tart apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • Pinch salt (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine rhubarb and apples. Sprinkle sugar and cornstarch over the top and mix. Spoon mixture into a 9-inch by 9-inch baking pan. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Drizzle butter over all and combine. Sprinkle over fruit. If more texture is desired, chill topping for 15 minutes, then use fingers to form grape-sized balls of topping. Scatter over the top.

Bake for 45 minutes or until topping is crisp and fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.

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P.S. Check out the other awesome Recipe ReDux creations here!

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