Saturday, February 25, 2012

Not Feeling Well... Sonny's Soup to the Rescue

Unfortunately, I'm in the midst of a yucky sinus infection.  Feeling sluggish and congested, and the worst part is I'm not feeling like standing in the kitchen and expirimenting- this is sad, because usually Saturday is a great day to take some time and create something delicious!!!

Last night I wanted some soup, but didn't want to get out from under the blanket on the couch.  So, my dear husband came to the rescue!  He was able to use the random ingredients that we had in the fridge/cabinet, and make a delicious soup!  I helped a bit when he asked about which spices and veggies to throw in, but overall I was super impressed with my hubby's yummy creation!  Buddy even tried to help by staying close to Sonny, in case any veggies dropped to the ground.  This soup was definitely worthy of a post.

We learned about the holy trinity of vegetables when I posted about jambalaya- onion, celery and bell peppers is the classic cajun combo.  Now, here is another term for you- a mirepoix is the combination of onion, celery and carrots that is found in many french dishes.  A mirepoix is also a good start to many soups. 

We had the fixings for a mirepoix, as well as some leftover turkey sausage from when we made the jambalaya.  Other soup making ingredients I always keep on hand (these ingredients are useful for many other things as well) are beans, rice and low-sodium broth.  Voila- a soup is born!!!

Most canned soups are WAY high in sodium, so it is beneficial to make your own.  Since we used turkey sausage (a processed meat which is fairly high in sodium), no additional salt is needed.  We used low sodium broth and kicked up the flavor profile with dried herbs and spices.  NOTE- you can easily make this a vegetarian soup by leaving out the sausage- the beans supply plenty of protein.  If you'd like to leave out the sausage, you can even add some extra beans to make up the volume.

We had some redbor kale from South Mountain Veggies- all varieties of kale are a great super food to eat when you are sick, or if you are just trying to stay healthy.  Sonny threw the fiber-rich leafy greens in the soup pot so I could stock up on some sickness-fighting anti-oxidants!  Get ready to try this soup which will warm you up and fix whatever ails you!

Sonny's Beany Kale Soup
2 Tb canola or olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8oz turkey sausage, diced (totally optional!)
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup uncooked brown rice (can also use barley)
1 can roman beans, drained and rinsed (can also use any variety of white bean)
64 oz low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or use 32oz broth and 32oz water)
1 bunch kale (any variety)

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy pot. 
2. Throw in your mirepoix (onion, celery, carrot), along with the garlic and sausage.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start to turn translucent, veggies become tender and sausage starts to brown, about 5-8 minutes.

3.  Add dried spices and rice- stir and cook another 1-2 minutes. 
4. Add beans and broth and bring to a rolling boil.  Turn heat down to a low simmer, cover and cook until rice is tender, about 40 minutes. 
5. Wash kale leaves well to remove any sandiness/grit.  Remove the rough stalks and tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces. 
6. When rice is tender, add the kale and cook at low heat just until kale is wilted, about 3 minutes.
7. Enjoy hot!

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