Thursday, February 3, 2011

Winter Blues... Kale White Bean Turkey Sausage Soup!

It's that time of the year... everyone in your office is sick.  Coughing, sneezing, sniffling for weeks.  If you are one of the lucky ones you escape the dreaded cold season or end up with just a couple days on the couch.  This past week I fell victim to the "office cold".  Growing up my mom would always make me Chicken Noodle Soup from scratch (thanks mom!); however I never really liked Chicken Noodle for some reason. 
I wanted to kick this cold to the curb, so even though I was feeling better I wanted to get some vitamins in to nourish me back to health!  *And protect me from the office germs*

This soup is full of yumminess, antioxidants, as well as vitamin A and C from the Kale.  The white beans give it a subtle creaminess, without any added fat as well as sneaking in some great fiber and protein!   

Kale White Bean Turkey Sausage Soup
based on Martha Stewart Recipe
4-6 servings

1/2 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Herbs de Provence (or Italian Seasoning)
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper
1 pkg Turkey polska kielbasa
1 can white beans (I used Cannellini, you can also use Northern or White)
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 bunch Tuscan kale (Lactino Kale), roughly 6 cups
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Additional Veggies (optional- I threw in 1/2 cup fresh corn)

1.  Slice turkey sausage and place on a cookie sheet in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  *Tops of the sausage should brown nicely and get a little crisp.  You can also throw directly in the soup, but i wanted to crisp them up a bit.* 

2.  Slice or tear kale and remove stems.  In a heated saucepan add olive oil and add onions and garlic.  Cook until onions are tender, you should be able to smell the onion and garlic.  Add in seasonings and let them toast to fully develop their flavors.

3.  Add in 4 cups of chicken broth, the can of diced tomatoes and half the can of beans.  Stir and bring to a boil.  While the soup is boiling, take the other half of the beans and 1/2 cup of water and place into a blender.  Blend until smooth.

4.  Toss in kale, any additional veggies (corn, celery, carrots would be great!) and the bean puree and stir till well mixed.  Add in the turkey sausage (it should be done by now).  Reduce heat and let simmer partially covered for 20 minutes. 

5.  Ladle soup into bowls.  Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and grate Parmesan onto soup. 

Drizzling the olive oil and grating a small amount of Parmesan onto the soup adds a BIG punch of flavor with out a whole bunch of richness.  This soup is pretty low cal, rough estimate with four servings is about 335 calories!  This would be great served with a big hunk of toasted bread or even some croutons for some added crunch.  The great thing about this recipe is that it could easily be a clean out your pantry or fridge dish.  When I make this again I think Turkey Meatballs, Portuguese Sausage or left over ham would be great in this soup.  You could also add in almost any type of veggie in and it would be great!  Let me also add that this got even better the second day.  I heated it up and slid a poached egg on top and it was drool worthy... Make it- now!