In March the sun seems to slant in a way that promises spring, and I’m usually the first one at the park. My kids (well kid, only one of them walks) seem to be much easier to deal with once all the ya-yas are out. Though the sun indeed slants, the park is nasty cold – especially as the dark sets in. I think soup is even more welcome in early spring because instead of hiding inside in my sweatpants, I’m actually outside getting cold.
It all started with a half-head of cabbage. You see cabbage is probably the item that will last the longest in your fridge (that and the bizarre milk they make these days that has a sell-by date like, eight months into the future). This cabbage was taking up too much space in my veggie drawer and its time had come. Cabbage and white bean sounded good, but since I was bringing it to a new and nursing mom, I wanted to get some meat in there, too. I’m not a huge fan of sausage but it sure does seem to make a lot of people happy.
It was needed in this soup – made it hearty and super filling. My husband loved it though my attempt to persuade my daughter to eat her serving failed miserably, even after I explained how she needed to refuel in the wake of her exhausting ballet class (it was a stretch – ballet for three year olds is hilarious).
Sweet Sausage, Cabbage and White Bean Soup
1.5 lb. Sweet Italian turkey sausage links, pressed out of casing*
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
8 c. chicken broth
1/2 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 (14 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. black pepper
*Cut the tip of the sausage and hold it at the opposite end; press out until you’re left holding the casing – discard.
1. In a large soup pan or dutch oven, saute sausage over medium high heat until no longer pink, breaking up with a wooden spoon into crumbles. Remove to a bowl but do not clean pot.
2. Add onion, carrot and celery and saute until softened, about five minutes.
3. Add oregano, red pepper flakes, rosemary, salt, garlic and tomato paste. Stir to combine and let cook about 2 minutes.
4. Add crushed tomatoes and stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan well with wooden spoon to get any browned bits.
5. Add chicken broth and stir to combine. Increase heat to high and place lid on pot – bring to boil.
6. Add cabbage and return lid. Once mixture returns to boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer, lid set askew on pot, for about fifteen minutes or until cabbage is tender.
7. Add beans, sausage, parsley, pepper. Stir to combine. Add salt as needed. Serve.