Kielbasa, Kale and White Bean Soup

Kielbasa, Kale and White Bean Soup

You should be making homemade soup. I know that sounds bossy but truth be told, I’ve been called bossy too many times to count (so I’m sort of okay with it). It’s just so EASY that it’s actually hard to mess up. There is some prep work involved when you make soup because it almost always starts with a mirepoix (carrots, celery and onion), and this particular soup uses greens (which you can buy pre-cleaned, pre-chopped). Otherwise it’s just opening cans! Do you have a fave chicken broth? I read an article in America’s Test Kitchen about chicken broth and they pointed me in the right direction (as always) with Better than Bouillon Chicken Base (I buy the organic version at Costco). It saves packaging and loads of money, plus the flavor is spot on. Anyway – try this soup if you’ve been enjoying some comfort eating and your jeans are tight. It’s full of protein and fiber as well as tons of healthy veggies. Plus, it makes a big batch so you can freeze half for a second dinner!

Kielbasa, Kale and White Bean Soup

Serves 8-10

2 tbsp. olive oil

13 oz. kielbasa, diced

1 large onion, or 2 small, diced

4 carrots, peeled and diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2-1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (depending on taste)

1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes

10-12 c. chicken broth

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

3-4 inch parmesan rind*

1 can (15 oz) small white beans (navy beans), drained and rinsed

1 bunch baby or lacinato kale, stemmed and torn or chopped into bite size

Parmesan cheese, for serving

*Parmesan rind is what you get when you buy the triangle of parmesan cheese and then grate it as you need it. When all that’s left is the rind, you put it in a ziplock bag and freeze it. Then, you use it to flavor soup. If you do not have a parmesan rind on the ready, just omit this ingredient. 

1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium high heat. Add kielbasa and sauce until golden brown. Remove to a bowl but leave fat in pan.

2. Add onion, carrot, celery, salt and crushed red pepper. Saute until softened, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes with their juices and scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir to combine.

4. Add broth, thyme and parmesan rind (if using) and increase heat to high. Heat until boiling and reduce to medium.

5. Add cooked kielbasa, beans and kale and simmer until kale is tender, about five minutes. Remove parmesan rind and thyme stems. Serve, topped with additional cheese.

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