White Bean, Sausage and Spinach Soup

White Bean, Sausage, and Spinach Soup

Okay, okay. Sometimes things besides white beans can go in white bean soup. I’ll allow it from time to time, especially in this soup. We had some fancy Hungarian sausage from the German market, but kielbasa or smoked sausage from the mega-mart will work just fine, too! The texture of the spinach (of all things) is what ended up selling me on it — it’s kind of velvety, a really delicious addition. If you use a megamart sausage, this soup is also cheap — something on the order of $8 for a giant pot of giantness. It freezes pretty well — the sausage isn’t quite as nice after, but still, it’s a meal you can thaw.

White Bean, Sausage and Spinach Soup, adapted from Simply Scratch and Budget Bytes

1 lb. navy or canellini beans, dried, picked over
1 lb. smoky sausage (the fancy ones are nice)
1 Tbsp. oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot (or several baby carrots), chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
1/4 c. white wine OR 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
4 c. water
2-4 c. low sodium chicken broth (or veg broth, or more water)
3 c. (about 5 oz.) fresh spinach, washed
salt and pepper to taste

The day before Souping Day, soak your beans in water (and, if your water is really hard, a teeny tiny pinch of baking soda). Drain them and set them aside.

Heat the oil in a big ol’ soup pot over medium heat. Slice the sausage and brown it up in the oil, then remove it from the pot and add the onion, carrot and celery. Sweat those in the oil and sausage fat until they’re nice and soft, adding the garlic when they’re about halfway there. Deglaze with the wine, scraping up the brown bits (or with the vinegar and a bit of water). Add the beans, water, 2 cups of broth and the herbs. Bring it to a boil, reduce it to a simmer, and let it go for 2-3 hours — you want the beans falling apart. Add more broth as needed.

Fish out the bay leaves and herb sprigs and taste for seasoning. Adjust as needed. Stir in the spinach and sausage and let them warm through so the spinach wilts a bit, then serve!

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~ by iliadawry on 3 July 2013.

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