Tag Archives: white beans

Spicy Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup

20 Nov
Spicy Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup

Spicy Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup

I had it in my mind over the weekend that I really wanted to make soup with white beans and spinach. No rhyme or reason for that. It’s just what I “felt like.”¬† The afternoon of the day I decided on this, my husband had already put ribs the crockpot in the morning (unbeknownst to me), and the next day we were invited out to dinner. So, no soup for me!

I finally got to the day I would put this into action. White beans. Check. Spinach. Check. Homemade canned tomatoes. Check. Vegetarian? Maybe. But I scrounged around the freezer and found a pound of Spicy Italian Sausage that’s blended at our local grocer. Perfect! I wouldn’t have to spice it up too much with anything else. And this local blend is absolutely delicious! My husband uses it in his huge batches of spaghetti sauce that we always freeze for quick late night meals. I have yet to disclose that recipe. He might have to kill me if I do. ūüėČ

I only used 1/2 pound of this sausage, as it is REALLY spicy. Now I know that 100% of my readers don’t visit this particular store (and if you do, then I don’t know about you) so my suggestion is to buy bulk Italian-spiced sausage, then add cayenne pepper, to taste. I’m going to guess maybe 1/8 teaspoon to start and build up from there? Either way, you can omit the cayenne or add or reduce to your taste.

I made this soup in less than a half-hour while on a conference call at work, as I was working after hours. Thank goodness for hands-free headsets and mute buttons, huh? While I’m sure you won’t be in that situation while preparing this soup, it’s nice to know you can.

I know this would convert into a wonderful vegetarian recipe by using vegetable stock and omitting the¬† sausage, as there are plenty of beans in this! You’d probably have to add salt and play with the seasonings, though.¬† I hope you enjoy!

Spicy Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup

Spicy Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup

Spicy Italian Sausage, White Bean, and Spinach Soup

1/2 pound Spicy Italian Sausage (or bulk Italian Sausage and add cayenne pepper to taste)
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup baby carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thin
2 teaspoons minced garlic (or 2 cloves minced)
Black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Italian dried seasoning herbs
6 to 7 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
1 pint jar homemade canned tomatoes, diced, or one 14-0unce can low sodium diced tomatoes
6 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped (this was half of a 9-ounce bag)

In a dutch oven or soup pot, add the sausage, onion, and carrots over medium heat. Cook until the sausage is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain grease, if needed. Mine was lean enough and did not have to. Grind a bunch of black pepper over it, add the Italian dried seasoning herbs, chicken broth, beans, and tomatoes (including liquid). Bring it up to a simmer, and then add the spinach. Give it a good stir, and as soon as the spinach wilts, it is ready to serve!

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!


Leftover Turkey Breast Soup with Spinach, White Beans, and Tomatoes

19 Jan
Leftover Turkey Breast Soup with Spinach, White Beans and Tomatoes

Leftover Turkey Breast Soup with Spinach, White Beans and Tomatoes

I’m so excited! I’ve just come back from the most amazing digital photography class. I now officially know how to mess with most of the dials, menus, and gadgets on my digital camera. That doesn’t mean I can use them well yet, but with a little practice (OK a LOT of practice) I should be able to start taking my food photographs the way I want to quickly instead of having to eat my dinner cold every night because after 20 minutes of trial and error I just give up and photoshop the crap out of them. On to the recipe now, with one of my digitally “enhanced” food shots from earlier in the week.

We had quite the soup week at our house. If you still have any leftover turkey in the freezer you are still trying to use up, this soup is an excellent candidate. And it’s quick, too! Perfect for a weeknight meal. And you can easily substitute many of the ingredients, or leave them out all together. The original recipe came from Taste of Home, but I lacked some of the fresh ingredients it called for and was able to substitute with frozen or canned. And because I felt like it, I also added a couple of new things, like lemon and onion. Whenever I see spinach in a recipe now, I always think of adding crushed red pepper flakes and lemon juice. I sure wish I had fresh spinach for this, but using frozen worked out fine.

Leftover Turkey Breast Soup with Spinach, White Beans, and Tomatoes
Adapted from Taste of Home

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped baby carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups homemade or low-sodium turkey or chicken broth
2 cans low-sodium petite diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, or 1 6-0unce package fresh baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cans white beans, any kind, drained and rinsed
2 cups turkey breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
Shredded parmesan cheese

In a dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil and saute the carrots and onions for about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook about a minute more. Add the broth, then bring up to a simmer for 15 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients except the cheese, bring back up to a simmer, and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with shredded parmesan cheese and crusty bread, or in our case, crackers. No fresh, crusty bread in the houses that night either. This soup is filling and full of flavor, and a snap to make.

Roasted Cabbage and Cauliflower Soup with Bacon

25 Nov
Roasted Cabbage and Cauliflower Soup with Bacon

Roasted Cabbage and Cauliflower Soup with Bacon

This soup can be very simple to make, but I was in an adventurous mood yesterday and added about an hour’s time overhead to the preparation. Add another three hours to that if you include the turkey stock I used for the soup made prior with the leftover turkey carcass. And no, I didn’t have to roast the cabbage and cauliflower in the oven before adding it to the stock, but it seemed like a good idea. While I was waiting for the veggies to finish roasting, I then decided I wanted to cook up some bacon in the soup pot so I’d have some flavorful oil for sauteing the the rest of the veggies. And then I would also have some crispy bacon as a garnish. While my husband griped about missing his football game graciously helped me strain the soup stock, he asked if I was going to put turkey in the soup. What? Can’t you see I’m cooking bacon? He felt the soup needed more protein, so he suggested a can of white beans. Sounded good to me! Once all the ingredients (including a generous dose of cumin and paprika) came together and were simmering in the pot, I felt the soup needed a touch more color so added a can of undrained diced tomatoes. Now I felt the soup was complete. All was good.

Prepping the Veggies and Bacon

Prepping the Veggies and Bacon

Roasted Cabbage and Cauliflower Soup with Bacon

1/2 head large cabbage (or 1 small)
1 small head cauliflower
Spray oil
Ground black pepper
6 strips of thick-sliced bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped sweet onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
8 to 10 cups turkey or chicken broth
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
Ground black pepper to taste
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes, undrained

Roasted Cabbage and Cauliflower

Roasted Cabbage and Cauliflower

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large foil-lined baking sheet with oil. Cut the cabbage into thin slices and place on half the sheet, then chop and separate the cauliflower into small florets and place on the other half. This gets a bit tight but I got it all squished on there. Spray with olive oil and generously grind black pepper over the top. Cook in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, until just starting to brown but not blackened. Meanwhile, chop up the celery, carrots and onion and set aside. Now chop up the bacon and add to a large soup pot. Cook the bacon until brown and crispy, then remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Reserve two tablespoons of the bacon grease, then wash and dry the pot and return it to the stove. Heat the reserved grease on medium and add the chopped veggies.  Cook for about 10 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Now add the cabbage and cauliflower and cook for about five more minutes, stirring often. Now add enough turkey or chicken stock to cover about one inch. Now toss in about half the cooked bacon. Add the seasonings, bring to a low boil, then cover and simmer on low for about a half hour. Lastly, add the white beans and tomatoes, then simmer for about 15 more minutes or until ready to eat. Oh, I almost forgot! At the last minute I decided to puree about three cups of the soup in the blender to make the base a little creamier. Add the puree back to the soup pot. To serve, ladle into bowls or large mugs and garnish with the reserved bacon pieces. This would be really good with some crusty French bread, but we only had crackers. Either way, this is a filling soup that tasted even better the next day for lunch. To simplify this recipe, you can skip roasting the veggies and/or omit the bacon altogether.

Rosemary White Bean Soup with Veggies and Ham

2 Oct
Rosemary White Bean Soup with Veggies and Ham

Rosemary White Bean Soup with Veggies and Ham

I set out to make this a vegetarian dish for a work Fall Harvest Soup Potluck, but after finding I didn’t have enough veggie broth for it and used chicken broth instead, I said “what the heck” and added some ham chunks I had in the freezer. But feel free to sub veggie broth and omit the ham. I was gone again for four days from Friday through Monday, then had this soup potluck to prepare for after we drove four hours back from the coast. (No Big Fish, AGAIN! We did come back with more Dungeness crab for the freezer. MMMM.) I made this AFTER fixing a dinner of chicken tenders, baked potatoes and broccoli, so wasn’t exactly in the mood to dash out to the store to buy more veggie broth. But that’s OK. From the ingredients you can see that it’s easily adapted to a vegetarian meal. No gluten either! We had nine large pots of different soups show up at the potluck, plus a full salad bar for whatever you wanted with three different greens and all manners of veggies. Oh and real bacon bits. We do have our bacon lovers in the office, too. Full bellies, happy workers.

Rosemary White Bean Soup with Veggies and Ham

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sliced baby carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Lots of black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb, to taste
6 to 7 cups of chicken or veggie broth
3 or 4 cans of Canellinni beans (or any other white beans), drained and rinsed
1 can of diced petite tomatoes, drained
1 cup of diced ham, optional
1 tablespoon fresh minced rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh minced tarragon

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, saut√© the carrots, celery, and onion over medium heat, about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saut√© another two minutes or so. Add black pepper and Mrs. Dash to taste. Pour in the broth, and bring to a simmer for about another half hour until the veggies are tender. Add all but one can of the white beans. Take the other can of rinsed and drained beans and add to a blender with about a cup of the broth and puree until smooth, then add to the soup. Now add the can of tomatoes. One interesting factoid I’ve learned in the past is that the acidic properties of tomatoes will hinder your veggies from getting “more tender” after adding the tomatoes, so wait until you are happy with the softness of them before adding. Next, add the ham if you want. Lastly, add your fresh minced herbs. Feel free to exchange for different fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, thyme, etc. These are just the ones I had fresh, but I made sure the rosemary was the overriding herb of this soup. Feel free to add some salt to taste, but I really didn’t think it needed it with the ham, but you might want to if making this vegetarian.¬† Bring back to a simmer for a bit now to let the herbs meld. I then transferred the soup to the crockpot then refrigerated overnight to heat up when I got to work. Soup’s On!

p.s. Just a photo note, I took the main photo BEFORE I added the rosemary. Only had the tarragon in at that point. I added the rosemary the next day, as it was a true Duh moment for me.  I was tired and cranky, lol. But the rosemary shined through in the end.

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken

30 Jul
Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken

Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken

I missed posting this past weekend because we went to work on our property for three days. Exhausting work, but we got a lot accomplished, and we foresee fishing off our dock next trip down there. YAY!

The weather has been pretty toasty across the nation lately, and we’ve been pretty hot here too but not in the triple digits like some places. However, the lack of air conditioning has inspired many grilled dinners or cold salads lately. With my cilantro plants about to go to seed, I wanted to use a bunch of it for tonight’s dinner. And with several limes on hand, it seemed like a perfect pairing for a chicken marinade. I found a recipe that used these ingredients from Sunset magazine, and adapted it from there. I served this with a green salad made with lettuce from my herb garden and white beans cooked with minced garlic (of course) and minced fresh tarragon from the garden. My family RAVED over this dinner. And my husband even said, “You know Kathryn, I think you have this grilling thing down finally.” That made me very happy.

Cilantro Lime Grilled Chicken

1 large chicken breast (about one pound)
Juice of 2 small limes (about a quarter cup)
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
Black pepper to taste
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Blend to taste

Cut the chicken breast in half lengthwise, pound to an even thickness and place in a quart Ziploc bag. In a small bowl, whisk the rest of the ingredients well and pour over the chicken. Seal the bag, then shake it around a few times to distribute the marinade evenly. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight. When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature, about an hour beforehand. Grill on a medium-high heat for five to seven minutes each side, or until no longer pink in the middle. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Simple White Bean and Tuna Salad

16 Mar
White Bean and Tuna Salad

White Bean and Tuna Salad

I am on my way out of town to visit some relatives with my sister, so I’m posting a very simple lunch I made last week when I was in a time crunch and had no leftovers I was interested in warming up. I spied a can of tuna in the pantry, and right next to it was a can of white beans. Bingo! I knew something could be whipped up with that combination. It made way more than I needed for lunch, so the leftovers made a tasty snack with crackers the next few days. Here is what I came up with:

White Bean and Tuna Salad

3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Black pepper
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb
1 can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed
1 can solid white albacore tuna, drained
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
Romaine lettuce

In a medium bowl, Whisk the lemon juice, oil and garlic. Season with pepper and Mrs. Dash to taste while whisking. Add the beans, tuna, onion, parsley and basil and mix well. Fresh herbs would be better I’m sure but I didn’t have any. Serve on a bed of romaine lettuce. As said before, this makes great leftovers with crackers. I snacked on it with Triscuits.

White Bean and Chicken Chili

1 Feb

White Bean and Chicken Chili

I may not have written anything yesterday, but I sure did cook! I made a delicious lunch of okra, tomatoes, bacon, and onion (coming soon!) and was then inspired to pull out my faithful crock pot and cook some chili for dinner. I was browsing through a cooking blog site for ideas and found a terrific recipe for a chicken-based chili. The only problem was I didn’t have half the ingredients, but that didn’t stop me! No black beans? Well white beans would work! No corn? Aha, I have a can of golden hominy in the pantry, hominy is corn, isn’t it? Rats, it’s also calling for a packet of dried ranch dressing. Hey, I have some in a bottle, I’ll use that instead. Oh, and what about that package of cream cheese? Let’s see, I have a quarter package of light Neufchatel, close enough for me! Rotel tomatoes? HA! Of course I had a can of those, what Texan wouldn’t?

See, you don’t really need to follow a recipe to the tee to make a great dinner. I’m all about experimenting and basically relying on what I happen to have in the house at the time. Of course I do make a shopping list when there is an ingredient I just have to have for something in mind, but more times than not it is determined by what’s in the fridge, freezer or pantry.

White Bean and Chicken Chili

Two boneless skinless chicken breasts (I put them in frozen!)
1 can drained, rinsed white beans
1 can hominy, liquid included
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and chiles, liquid included
2 tablespoons Ranch dressing
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Black pepper to taste
1/4 to 1 package light cream or Neufchatel cheese

Put the chicken breasts in the bottom of the crock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients except the cream cheese and stir to combine, making sure the chicken ends up at the bottom again. Put the cream cheese brick on top. Cook on low 6-8 hours, or high 3-4 hours. When done, stir to mix in the cheese. Take two forks and shred the chicken right there in the pot and stir again. Garnish with tortilla chips, cilantro, sour cream or any other condiment of choice.

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