Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Weekly Recipe #84: Kale, Bean and Chicken Sausage Stew

By Jeanne Foels, Marketing & Outreach Coordinator

The days of soup are upon us. The chill in the air turns thoughts to comforting, warming food and the kitchen seems cozy and inviting, just the place to watch over a simmering pot of soup. At the same time, the lively pace of autumn, with its new routines and plentiful events, necessitates quick meals for busy evenings.

To launch you into soup season, here's a hearty, fresh-tasting stew that's ridiculously speedy and convenient. This recipe is particularly great for using up big bunches of kale you might have from the garden or farmers market. Kale turns sweeter in cold weather, so it's reaching its top form now in fall.

Kale, Bean and Chicken Sausage Stew
Adapted from a recipe from Real Simple
(Serves 4-6)

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 12-oz. package fully cooked chicken sausage links, sliced
1 cup celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 14.5-oz. can kidney beans, rinsed
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes (you can also use fresh tomatoes, if you have them on hand!)
1 large bunch kale leaves, torn into 2-inch pieces
Salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add the sausage and celery and cook, stirring once, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
4. Add the beans, broth and tomatoes (with their liquid) and bring to a boil.
5. Add the kale and salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Serve with a crusty baguette or loaf of country bread.

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