Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dinner: Sausage and Spinach White Bean Soup

This is an original creation that worked out pretty well for a quick weeknight meal.  I know dried beans taste way better and are a lot cheaper bla bla bla, but they also require something in exceedingly short supply for a lot of people: planning.  You want to make it with dried beans, I'm not going to stop you.  For the rest of us, here goes (sorry, no pictures):

2 fresh bratwurst
1 medium onion 
1 box (9 oz) frozen chopped spinach
2 cans (15 oz) navy or great northern beans
1/2 tsp caraway seed
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp lemon juice (adjust to taste)
salt to taste

Squeeze the sausage out of their casings into a medium saucepan over low heat, breaking it up as it starts to brown.  Chop the onion.  Add to saucepan and increase to medium heat, continuing to break up sausage as it cooks until onions are translucent and sausage is well browned.  If you've had the foresight to thaw the spinach, add it to the saucepan now.  If you haven't, no worries, just put it in the pan frozen, cover it, turn the heat down low, and wait a few minutes until your spinach block thaws.  Add the beans and enough water or stock to bring it to the consistency you prefer.  Heat to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so.  Add lemon juice and salt to taste.  Enjoy.

30 minutes or so.  Serves 3-4 as a meal, more as a soup course.


Elephantschild said...

What might work instead of the spinach? I don't mind it but my husband and child would be less than enthused at the thought of spinach in soup.

Shredded cabbage, maybe?

Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake said...

I'm not enthusiastic about cabbage and white beans, but I think that's just because I'm picturing how pale it'd be. I'm sure it would taste fine. How do they feel about kale? That's actually what I was intending to use, but I can't find frozen kale anywhere here. I used to get it all the time in NC, so maybe it's a regional thing.

Elephantschild said...

How strong of a flavor does kale have?

Never seen it frozen, either, but neither have I looked for it.

Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake said...

I think it's pretty mild, milder than cabbage, but opinions differ. Some people say it's bitter, but that must be one of those genetically-determined flavors (like the supposed bitterness of broccoli, which I also don't perceive).

Oh, according to Wikipedia, gai-lan is a variety of kale, so there you go. It tastes like that.

Elephantschild said...

Awesome. Thanks.