Let’s be honest. We’ve had a pretty good run here. Winter was mild and we’ve had a nice tease of spring here and there. So when in years past at this time I may have been complaining over and over and over about the weather this year just can’t be that. Chicago? You did well. Finally.
And yet when those (sometimes) dreary spring days do hit they can start to feel a bit….mundane. 40 degrees, no sunshine, rain showers. We all know it needs to happen in order for spring to come but my goodness those days can feel long. Combine it with a week of sick kids and your turning to the kitchen for some much needed comfort.
Yet comfort food is so last season am I right? We are in spring! No more rich sauces and heavy carb loaded dishes, please. With the tease of warmer weather to come we’ve already got the grill going and I just can’t, can’t, go back. So lighter soups to the rescue! Chock full of health they provide the warmth and comfort we still may crave and yet stay easy on the waistline because, well, summer is to follow.
This is the perfect soup for March, April, and yes even sometimes May. Get this white bean and sausage soup going this week and be comforted in knowing that every single day is one step closer to summer. SUMMER!!! I. can’t. wait.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound hot turkey or Italian sausage, casings removed, chopped (I used chicken)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 large peppers (red, orange, or yellow - not green), finely chopped
- 2–3 carrots, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 6 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 14-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
- 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
- 1 pound baby spinach (or kale or collard greens)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium. Cook sausage, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer sausage to a plate.
- Add onion, peppers, carrots, and garlic to pot and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are tender, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add sage, rosemary, bay leaf, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir in chicken stock, tomatoes and their juices, and reserved sausage. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until flavors have blended about 15 minutes.
- Using a fork, coarsely mash beans from 1 can and add to sausage mixture. Stir in remaining can of beans; let simmer 10 minutes.
- Divide spinach (whatever greens you pick) among bowls, then ladle soup over spinach. Top soup with Parmesan.