Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Great White Bean

One of my favorite soups to make is so not fancy. But it's so tasty. It's a kind of spin on escarole and bean soup (or "schcadole" and bean soup, if you're around my family), beefed up with sausage and finished with a drizzle of red wine vinegar. This last touch might suggest fanciness, but I don't buy it.

The recipe is for White Bean Soup with Sausage and Collards, but I substitute chopped spinach for the collards. Escarole would work, too. Best eaten with some crusty bread, the soup is easy to make and freezes well. And you can keep almost all the ingredients in your freezer, making this dish a primo candidate for bad weather when you don't feel like going to the store. Fork and I like it very much and eat it about once a month in the fall and winter. Make some today and save your fancy food for another night.--S

White Bean Soup with Sausage and Collards

serves 4

1 package (12 oz) frozen bulk sausage, thawed and crumbled
1 medium onion, chopped
2 packages (10 oz each) frozen chopped collard greens, unthawed
2 cans (15.5 oz each) cannellini beans, drained, rinsed, and slightly mashed
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 T red-wine vinegar (optional)
Slices of toasted French bread (optional)

1. Cook sausage and onion in a large saucepan over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until fat renders, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes more. (If bottom of pan starts to burn in spots, sprinkle with water and scrape up blackened bits.)
2. Add greens, beans, and 4 cups water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until soup is slightly thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Adjust consistency of soup with water, if necessary. Stir in red-wine vinegar, and serve with toasted bread slices, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Everyday Food

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