Happy New Years! We have officially arrived in January, the doldrums of winter and in my opinion, the year’s worst month. January has the coldest weather and by now I’m missing the holiday cheer. The one thing to look forward to is the days getting longer and more excuses to eat hearty soups! This soup is great for the “mean month” and helps chase away the winter chill. The soup is loaded with spicy sausage, beans, fresh veggies and herbs. Make it with homemade chicken stock and you have a nutrient rich broth to stave off the flu and common cold (no, the old wive’s tale is not a myth; it does give your immune system a boost). Serve it up with crusty french bread for dunking and plenty of sliced parmigiano reggiano!
White Bean, Sausage & Cabbage Soup
(Makes 7-8 servings)
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh fennel
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 45 oz. Great northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 15 oz. Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 lb. (about 5) hot Italian sausages, casings removed
- 1 large zucchini, quartered and chopped
- 30 oz. fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 small cabbage, about 3 1/2 cups, loosely chopped
- about 12-13 cups chicken stock, more or less depending on desired consistency
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large sauce pot, brown the sausage on medium high heat and break apart into smaller crumbs as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Drain all but 2 tsp of grease.
- In the same pot, melt the butter and add the onion, carrot and celery.
- Stir in the garlic, fennel, and red pepper flakes. Saute for 1 minute.
- Add the great northern beans, chickpeas, diced tomatoes, thyme, oregano, zucchini and cabbage.
- Add the chicken stock and bring to low boil. Turn the heat down to lowest setting and cook covered until the cabbage is tender, about 25-30 minutes.