Hearty, flavorful “stew” that’s ready in well under an hour.
Sausage, White Bean and Kale Stew
Delicious, filling stew with slightly spicy sausage and sturdy veggies that hold up wonderfully for leftovers.
I’ve been on a bit of comfort food kick lately (evidenced here and here), and this recipe is no exception to that trend. I first made a version of this stew during a massive snow storm that happened while I was still in law school. The storm was so bad that they ended up closing the school and cancelling classes, and the roads were completely shut down, so I was pretty much trapped in my loft apartment with only the food in my cabinets and a bottle of wine (thank God for that).
I actually had a fairly stocked kitchen, so I was able to whip up some decent meals for the two or so days I was stuck inside. I found a few canned vegetables and some stock in the back of one cabinet which were actually pretty tasty once I combined them with some spices and that handy-dandy wine. Little did I know that a snow day meal would provide the basis for a recipe that’s improved each time I’ve made it over the last few years (primarily because I’ve been able to cook with things I actually want to cook with, and not just with things shoved in the backs of my kitchen cabinets).
Over the years, I’ve figured out which wine, veggies, stock and spices work the best in this recipe, and I’ve experimented with adding protein (when I first made it I had no meat defrosted so it was vegetarian), and the recipe is one that I now turn to when I’m craving something hearty and simple to throw together. I call it a “stew,” and I think that’s the best way to describe it, but the really wonderful part about this recipe (aside from it’s seriously great flavor) is the fact that it doesn’t need much time to “stew” at all before it turns into a big ole pot of warm, herby, slightly spicy deliciousness.
1 pound mild Italian sausage
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced into coins
1 bunch kale (stems removed) chopped
1 large can diced tomatoes
2 cans white beans, drained
2.5 cups vegetable stock
3/4 cup dry white wine (I use Sauvignon Blanc)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp oregano
In a heavy-bottom soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and brown the sausage and cook until 90% cooked through. Once the meat is browned, remove it from the pot and add the chopped onion and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. The onions will be a bit brown due to the residual meat drippings – that’s fine! Add the garlic powder and crushed red pepper and cook for another minute or so until the veggies are coated in the spices.
Add the wine and cook until the liquid reduces by half, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes (with their juice) and bring everything to a simmer. At this point, add the stock, beans, carrots, kale,salt and pepper and stir to combine. Heat through until carrots are softened, about 15 minutes. Lastly, add the oregano and stir to combine. Serve with buttered bread and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!