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Our favorite soup

In fact, this might just be our favorite meal. It's quick to fix, it's full of healthful ingredients, it's delicious, it's better the next day (but we usually gobble it all up) and I usually have everything I need to make it. And if I don't have what's called for, substitutes taste just as good.

Sausage, White Bean and Kale Soup

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 asiago-spinach chicken sausages (or other flavorful low-fat sausage), sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 four-ounce can mushrooms, pieces and stems, drained
  • 4 cups low-fat chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked white beans
  • 1 large bunch kale, rinsed, stemmed and torn
In Dutch oven or large saucepan, swirl oil to coat bottom of pan. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage pieces and cook two to three minutes. Add chopped onion and celery and continue cooking until onion is translucent and celery has softened. Add the rosemary, mushrooms, chicken broth and beans and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the torn kale and cook another 15 to 20 minutes.

You can garnish with shaved Parmesan and serve with crusty bread, but we usually don't.

If you can't find a chicken sausage to suit your taste, you can use chopped cooked chicken breast pieces. You could add zucchini ribbons or sliced carrots if you have them on hand. Black beans, or a mixture of black and white beans, is an interesting variation, too. And certainly, feel free to sub fresh spinach or escarole for the kale. There's something about the kale, though, that really boosts the flavor.

So there you go … next time you need dinner on the table in a hurry, TRY THIS SOUP. I predict you'll love it.

P.S. Mad Men was great, and I had the den all to myself (my husband would probably LOVE this show if he'd just open his mind enough to realize that there's more to television than NEWS). I also got a lot of knitting done. My sleep for the next few months will probably suffer, as the one-hour regular episodes don't start until 10 p.m. Seriously, I thought 10 only came once a day. Sigh.


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