Do ya’ll feel like life’s gotten a little busier lately? I always feel like the onset of fall comes with ample time to bake, enjoy football, and do fallish things like paint pumpkins and get crafty. But WHAM – after Halloween comes and goes, turbo mode commences. Work deadlines increase as the holidays close in on us. Final exams fill the calendars of weary college students. You start agonizing over your Thanksgiving menu. And ironing out plans for Christmas. My to-do list just got 10x longer. Yikes! Who has time to plan weekly menus? Grocery shop? Or even cook for that matter???
Enter this 5-ingredient soup. It’s smiling at you and saying “relax. Take a deep breath.” Yes, friends. It’s soup to the rescue. I’m talking about the kind that’s cheap, easy, healthy, and on the table in 30 minutes. This soup is going to nourish your body with the vitamins, minerals, lean protein, and healthy carbs that it needs to get you through the new year. And on top of all that, it’s full of warm, savory flavors. I don’t know about you, but every to-do list seems less daunting to me when I’ve had a good food experience. Something that satisfies my need to enjoy flavors, aromas, colors, and the company of people I care about and need to make time for no matter how hectic things get.
This soup also keeps on giving – we had it for dinner last night, I enjoyed a bowl for lunch today and plan on taking the rest for lunch tomorrow. Seriously, it will keep you going all week if you make enough. If you are feeding hearty appetites, consider throwing in a few cups of cooked pasta, quinoa, farro, or any cooked whole grain. If you drive by a good artisan bakery during your daily commute, pick up a loaf of crusty whole grain bread to dip in the broth.
Another yummy addition: I like to throw in the rind from a wedge of fresh Parmesan cheese. Whenever I get to the bottom of a hunk of Parmesan, I wrap the rind in plastic wrap, place in an airtight container and freeze for later use in soups. It’s a trick I learned from watching Everyday Italian with Giada on the Food Network, and it adds such a nutty depth of flavor to the soup broth. Do you have any go-to dinner staples that you can rely on in a pinch? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!
Products used to make this recipe (Affiliate Links):
- Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron 4 1/2 Quart Round French Oven – $250.00 – It’s a lifetime kitchen investment!
- 6 ounces hot Italian chicken sausage about 2 links, casing removed
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 box 32 ounce no salt added chicken stock (such as Kitchen Basics)
- 1 cup water
- 4 cups of chopped kale buy a bag of prewashed and chopped for convenience
- 1 can reduced sodium cannellini beans or Great Northern beans drained and rinsed.
- Optional: the rind from a Parmesan cheese wedge
- Optional: replace the 1 cup water with 1 cup white wine
Heat a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and the Italian sausage. Cook the sausage until browned, being sure to break up chunks with a wooden spoon.
Add the fire roasted tomatoes and stir for 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth and water (or wine, if using) and increase heat to high.
Once the liquid starts to boil, add in the chopped kale and the Parmesan rind, if using. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the kale is tender.
Stir in the cannellini beans and taste to adjust seasonings with salt and pepper as needed. Remove Parmesan rind and serve hot with crusty bread.