Kale, Italian Sausage, & White Bean Soup. Collard Greens, Andouille, and Kidney Bean Soup. Spinach, Chicken Sausage, and White Bean Soup. Get it? Sound good? A very easy and budget-friendly dinner option.
I thought about titling this “quick & cheap,” but greens have such a reputation to uphold these days! Any variation featuring this health foodie darling du jour will run you just about $1.30 per serving depending on how many ingredients you get on sale, whether you go organic, if you use canned or dried beans, and if you use your own homemade chicken or vegetable broth. Once this recipe is in your toolkit you can just stock up on the ingredients as they go on sale and always have them on hand.
It takes only about 15 minutes start-to-finish if you chop the onion and garlic while the sausage browns. Then again, if you want to make it at 5pm and keep it on the stove til 7pm it holds up to that as well. This is such a winter go-to for us, and a freezer-filler-upper. Have some little grilled cheese sandwiches on the side, or just a plain old crusty loaf of bread!
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2-8 cloves garlic, chopped - your preference, and depends how garlic-y your choice of sausage is.
- some kind of herb...thyme? Depends on the flavors you enjoy, and those already in your sausage.
- 1-1.5 lb sausage, bulk or links
- 2-4 cups broth – chicken or veg broth…Stretch 2 cups of broth by adding 2 cups of water, use as much or as little liquid to achieve your vision of ideal soup/stew consistency.
- 10-20 oz greens, fresh or frozen. Wash fresh green, cut out the ribs, then chop or cut into ribbons.
- 2 15 oz cans beans, rinsed
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Optional add-ins: barley, pasta, more/other beans, additional fresh or frozen veg
- Heat 2 glugs of olive oil in a soup pot or sauté pan (saute pans have high straight sides, I like to do the whole recipe in a large sauté pan).
- Squeeze sausage out of casings if using links. Brown the sausage, and break it up into as big or small of chunks as you prefer - about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the chopped/sliced onion & garlic, and any herbs or seasonings. Let them all get it on for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
- Add broth – scrape/rub the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all that flavor.
- Add the beans and greens.
- Turn the heat down and let the whole mess marry for anywhere from 5 minutes to however long it takes for your dining companion to come home. If using barley or pasta don’t let them sit in the soup longer than their cooking time. For maximum flavor you could cook the pasta or barley in the soup so it absorbs the flavor - but then be sure not to overcook pasta in soup or it'll eventually dissolve. Of course you could cook them separately (or use leftovers) and add 5 minutes prior to eating so they have time to heat up and be incorporated.
For me this recipe amounted to 6 servings – we ate 2, then froze two bags of two servings for later enjoyment.
A few notes on sale prices:
Frozen organic kale is available at Whole foods for $2.69 per 16oz bag. I paid 99cents per 8oz fresh non-organic (inorganic?) kale while fresh organic kale bunches were on sale 2/$3 at Sprouts. So the 16oz frozen organic costs less than $3 for fresh organic kale on sale. All grocers carry frozen spinach, some better than others. Frozen collard greens can be found at major grocers, and frozen organic collard greens at Whole Foods. Using frozen greens? No prob – you don’t have to thaw them in advance, just drop ‘em in and give them time to reclaim their yumminess.
Around here chicken sausage goes on sale for $1.99, and pork sausage for $2.99 per pound. Use as much or as little sausage as your budget and palate dictate.
I routinely buy cans of beans on sale for about 60cents a can, you could potentially save more by using dried beans and soaking overnight ahead of time.
To stretch this recipe and make it even more economical consider adding pasta, barley, maybe even some rice. For me the beans are starch enough, but that’s just me. Don’t like beans? Skip them and substitute pasta, barley, etc. Make it work for you!
Random Note: My Dad gifted me a ground meat browning tool. It is by far the most ridiculous thing, I am loathe to recommend it. And yet…what tool do you suppose gets used at least once a week? Wouldn’tcha knowit?! I can’t even remember how I browned ground meat before. Honestly.
Found a better deal on any of these ingredients? Please post below to share with the community!
Can you come up with another combination? Let us know so we can share the yum!
3 thoughts on “Economical & Expeditious: Greens, Beans, & Sausage soup”
With Kale, Collard Greens, and Spinach ALL on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen Plus list I’d revise this to say that organic is the best way to go for your greens. Not sure why I didn’t think of that earlier! http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php
This is a beautiful dish. Works great on those days that you come in from the cold and just want something to warm you up. Personally i’m a great fan of garlic so i just throw loads in their.
Yay George – yes to garlic!