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.