Words and photos by Melissa (@seasonserveblog)
I’m Melissa from Season & Serve Blog. I am a policy analyst by day and a food blogger and recipe developer by night. I recently moved to Vancouver Island in 2018 and have been inspired by the wide variety of foods that are available here throughout the seasons. I aim to transform local and seasonal ingredients into delicious recipes that you can make in your own home. No matter what cooking level you are at, I guarantee that I have the perfect recipe for you!
When I’m not in the kitchen, I can be found trying out local restaurants, exploring Vancouver Island, planning parties (and my upcoming wedding!), or working in my garden. I share all of my recipes, entertaining tips, and experiences on my website, Season & Serve Blog, and on my new YouTube channel!
Today, I am sharing a one-pot recipe for Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup. This recipe is simple to make and uses fresh and local ingredients. Plus, it comes together in less than one hour, so this is a perfect meal for any night of the week!
A Traditional Italian Soup with a West Coast Spin
White bean soup is a classic Italian recipe that I grew up eating for most of my life. Originating in Tuscany, this thick and hearty soup is known as ‘Ribollita’ (i.e. ‘reboiled’) and is made with white beans and any leftover vegetables and bread that one may have on hand.
The beauty of this soup is that it changes based on the seasons, what is locally available, and the chef’s own taste, so there are various recipes and adaptations of this original soup recipe. But today, I’m taking this recipe and adopting it for the west coast with locally made sausage and a few simple seasonal vegetables.
A Few West Coast Ingredients
When I was thinking of ‘west coast’ ingredients that I could use in this soup, I automatically thought of kale. Everyone seems to enjoy it despite it being a healthy food! We are also lucky here since kale basically grows year-round, so we can get it fresh whenever we want it. In this recipe, I used green kale since it was available at my local grocer, however you can use other varieties of kale (such as lacinato) or other dark leafy greens (such as spinach or chard) as they are available.
Rosemary was another inspirational ingredient for this recipe. Not only because I have a rosemary bush the size of me in my yard, but also because it grows year-round here on the west coast and it is used widely in Italian cooking. Plus, rosemary produces these beautiful small purple flowers in early spring, so it’s both beautiful and delicious in this recipe!
Apart from the kale and rosemary, I used locally made sausage from The Chop Shop at the Root Cellar in this recipe. While there is always a big selection of sausages always available at their store, I used their mild-Italian sausage in this recipe. It has great flavour with the high-quality local beef and pork used in the sausage as well as additional flavour from fennel and chili flakes that are used in their recipe.
A Warming One-Pot Meal with Built-In Flavour
While some soup recipes can be complex, this recipe for Sausage, Kale & White Bean Soup comes together in a flash and you only need to use one pot to make it! I really enjoy one pot meals not only because there are less dishes to do, but because you can build the flavours of the soup in one pot, meaning that they will be more intense and incredibly flavourful.
Serve this Sausage, Kale & White Bean Soup warm from the pot with a side of local bread, such as Portofino Bakery’s Roasted Garlic and Cracked Pepper Loaf!
I hope that you enjoy this recipe!
Recipe: Sausage, Kale & White Bean Soup
Cook time: 45 minutes
- 5 mild-Italian Pork and Beef sausages from The Chop Shop at the Rootcellar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried red chili flakes (optional)
- 1 cup white wine (we used Blue Grouse Quill Q White or Unsworth Vineyards Allegro)
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 3 leaves fresh sage, finely chopped
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups green kale, leaves removed from stem and roughly chopped
- Bread, for dipping (such as Portofino Bakery’s Roasted Garlic & Cracked Pepper loaf)
Remove the sausage from the casing. Divide the meat from each sausage meat into four portions and roll into small meatballs. In the end, you should have 20 tiny meatballs.
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the olive oil, and fry the sausage on all sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pot and set aside, but keep the oil in the pot.
Add the onion, salt, and pepper to the pot and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion has softened and has become a light golden brown. Add the garlic and red chili flakes and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the white wine, rosemary, and sage to the pot. Use a wooden spoon to scrape all the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Continue cooking over medium-high heat until the wine has reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Add one can of the cannellini beans to the pot. Use a potato masher to break up the beans into a rough paste. Add the other can of beans (keep whole) and chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Once the soup boils, add in the sausage balls, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 25-30 minutes to allow the flavours to combine.
Stir in the kale right before serving so that it stays nice and green and does not get overcooked. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Serve warm with a side of your favourite bread.