Turkey Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup

 

turkey-sausage-kale-and-white-bean-soupWe’ve already addressed the fact that pumpkin season starts at exactly 12:01 on September 1st. But did you know that soup season also starts at that time? It’s true. It doesn’t matter how many 90-degree days we have in a row, as long as it’s September it is time for soup. Admittedly, I did not feel much like making soup last week. The thermostat in my car read 99 degrees when I got in to drive home from work almost every day. I’m lucky I had the energy to make it home at all, let alone stand over a hot stove to make soup. Luckily the weather this weekend cooperated and I was able to whip up this fantastic soup for the week ahead. I love making a big batch of soup on Sunday, as it makes a super easy and delicious dinner when I’m pressed for time later in the week.

I love this turkey sausage, kale and white bean soup recipe for a number of reasons. One, I usually have all of the ingredients on hand. I try to keep a pound of Italian turkey/chicken sausage in the freezer at all times. My pantry is always stocked with broth, canned tomatoes and cannellini beans. If I don’t have fresh kale on hand, frozen chopped spinach is an easy substitute. A splash of dry white wine, a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a pinch of red pepper flakes round out the list. From humble, stand-by ingredients a hearty, tasty soup is born. I think this soup tends to taste better as it sits in the fridge, which means it’s a perfect candidate for Sunday afternoon meal-prep. However, if you haven’t planned that far ahead, it’s very quick to whip up on a weeknight. Paired with a sandwich, this is a great weeknight meal. Stay tuned tomorrow for an excellent sandwich pairing!

turkey-sausage-kale-and-white-bean-soup

Turkey Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Italian turkey sausage, removed from casing
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained
  • 1/2 bunch kale, cleaned and chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

 

Instructions

Heat oil in stock pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add turkey sausage and break into pieces with wooden spoon or a potato masher. Once sausage starts to brown, after about 3-4 minutes, add onion and red pepper flakes and cook an additional 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add tomato paste and cook about 3 minutes, until it has darkened in color and some brown bits have formed on the bottom of the pan. Add white wine and scrape up brown bits. Reduce wine for about 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 1o minutes, then add tomatoes, kale and cannellini beans. Season generously with salt and pepper. Simmer soup for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Once soup is done, remove from heat and add basil and parmesan cheese. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with additional cheese, if desired.

Serves 6.

Tortellini Rosa

Tortellini Rosa 1Well, hello from the other side of Labor Day weekend! I hope you were able to have some fun and relax. Are you all hot-dogged and hamburgered out? Summer is, unofficially at least, over and we’re back to school, schedules and busy weeknights. Quick and easy recipes are a necessity. This time of year, if you don’t have a plan for dinner, you’re looking at PB&J or Cheerios. Luckily you do not need a lot of time or energy to get this tasty and satisfying Tortellini Rosa on the table. Getting back into the swing of things can be a real drag, so cheese and carbs are here to help.

This dish is inspired by a former favorite at a neighborhood restaurant that’s since been taken off the menu. Fortunately it is easy to recreate and I think my version is even better than the original (though I may be biased.) Cheesy tortellini are combined with 1/2 cup each of Italian pantry staples: black olives, artichokes and roasted red peppers. Pancetta adds meaty richness and blue cheese adds a decadent tang. Add spinach for some healthy greens. Everything is mixed into a slightly spicy and super easy creamy tomato sauce. I use a full teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Between the cream and the cheesy tortellini, there is plenty of richness in the dish to balance it out. If you’re heat shy, you can scale back to 1/2 a teaspoon. Dinner will be on the table within 30 minutes and you’ll only have a skillet and stockpot to clean up afterwards. So you can move on to whatever else your evening has in store, whether it be soccer practice of a Netflix binge. I’ll cross my fingers that it’s the latter.

Tortellini Rosa 2

Tortellini Rosa

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz dried tortellini (I used Barilla Collezione Cheese and Spinach Tortellini)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 oz pancetta, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup black olives, chopped
  • 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

In large stock pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Once boiling, salt the water and add tortellini. Cook tortellini 2 minutes short of cooking time on package. Drain.

While tortellini is cooking, prepare the sauce. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. When oil shimmers, add pancetta and cook until crisp. Remove pancetta from skillet and pour fat from skillet, reserving 1 1/2 tablespoons.

Return skillet to heat and add reserved fat. Add onion and cook 2-3 minutes, until translucent. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook 3o seconds, until fragrant. Add wine to skillet and reduce for about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and water to skillet and cook until sauce has thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Add artichokes, roasted red peppers, olives and spinach. Cook until spinach has wilted, about 2 minutes.

Add tortellini to skillet once it is ready. Cook tortellini in the sauce for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add  heavy cream, stirring to combine. Add pancetta and blue cheese to skillet. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper to your preference. Sprinkle basil over skillet and serve.

Serves 4