Friday, January 14, 2011

Italian Sausage and Bean Zuppa

When I posted my Bean Recipe Exchange, I failed to include a recipe of my own. And that just wouldn't do! So here's another great recipe for using those dried beans! I actually developed this one myself by taking some cues from the Olive Garden's wonderful soups; I just used my favorite ingredients from their dish and made it my own. 

Italian Sausage and Bean Zuppa

1 lb. cannellini or northern beans, soaked and cooked (or about 2 - 3 cups)
1 lb. Italian sausage (turkey sausage works fine, too, just make sure it's spicy)
olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. Italian seasonings (or a mix of your own)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pepper, freshly ground
4 cups chicken broth
6 - 8 cups water
1 bunch kale, chopped (spinach will do)
3/4 cup half and half
fresh romano or parmesan cheese

Soak and cook beans. Brown the sausage in olive oil in a large stock pot. Add onion toward the end and cook until transparent. Add garlic during the last minute and cook.

Next, add seasons, chicken broth, water, and kale. Simmer until kale is tender. 

Add beans and heat until warm. Add half and half; heat, but do not allow to boil.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheese. Oh, and serve with some wonderful, warm French or Italian bread slathered with butter and sprinkled with herbs. And enjoy!

So, tell me what you think if you make it! And be watching for a Salad Dressing Recipe Exchange next week - so get your recipes and photos ready!


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