1.14.2014

Italian Sausage and White Bean Soup with Kale


Ryan is training for his first marathon (St. George or SLC Marathons). He mapped out a training schedule, and has been really great at getting up each day to run before the sun comes up (even in the well-below freezing temperatures a couple weeks ago). I can't wait to see how well he does! He seems pretty happy to be back in the running game again after a three-year break for graduate/law school. Before he was pumping out 90+ mile weeks, and now he's trying to build back up to it again (with more, I think). I've seen him do great things with his running, and I can't wait for this summertime to unfold, and see his hard work pay off (good news for me, is that he's eating like a horse again - reminds me of our newly-wed college days!) 

On the other hand, I can't do the cold temperatures (at least when the sun is down). I wuss out. IT'S NUTS OUT THERE. Humans should not be allowed to be outside before 7am in temperatures that evil. A couple years ago, when I was training for my first half marathon, I was hard core when it came to stuff like this. I could go out in a blizzard, or in the coldest night you can imagine, and fearlessly run. Now? Not so much. I tend to hide in the gym at our apartment complex on a treadmill or elliptical, do an aerobic workout video inside, do some of my newly-found love (yoga), or wait until it's warm enough to run outside. So, naturally, one of my goals I've been sticking to since late December is to just get in a good 30 minutes of time designated solely for exercise 6 days a week. Whether that be cardio, yoga, etc, it's been fun to just get-it-done - especially without the stress of the weather determining my run happening or not. Utah is a nuthouse sometimes. 

We have LOVED an app called "keep track". It keeps us honest with our daily goals, and has been fun to use to see how we're both doing!  You just click on the app, and tell it either 1) yes or no if you did your workout, OR 2) how much time you did it, OR 3) how long you did it for, etc. It's been awesome! I'm a huge list-checker-offer person, so this paperless version has been pretty convenient. 

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This soup was DREAMY, folks. The ingredients were so simple, but surprisingly packed in so much flavor. The broth was something else - so amazing. It had so much depth. I'm not usually a fan of drinking straight broth (soaking it up with bread or crackers is usually my method), but this stuff was like liquid heaven. 

I found a recipe on Bon Appetit similar to this soup, but uses chorizo and spinach. I couldn't find chorizo at the supermarket on grocery day, and wanted to incorporate a different kind of green on our plates (spinach is a regular now in the morning with our smoothies - we've come a long way - haha), so I tossed in a bunch of kale into my shopping cart along with a few links of Italian sausage. Well worth the switch! The beautiful beans, and thyme melded together in the broth, and the links of sausage were fun to fish for in our bowls. Fan-tastic soup, I tell you. Will be making again and again as winter presses on!

xo, 
blondie


Italian Sausage and White Bean Soup with Kale
makes 4 servings

ingredients:
EVOO for drizzling
1 lb Italian Sausage links, sliced
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 t dried thyme
2 14oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed well
2 C chicken stock
1/2 t smoked paprika
sea salt & ground black pepper
4 handfuls of kale, stems removed and chopped

method:
1. Drizzle a bit of EVOO on a large heavy skillet. Over medium heat, brown all sausages until cooked through, about 15 minutes. (You can cook them whole, and then slice afterwards, but it takes much longer). Remove from heat and place sausage on a plate lined with a paper towel. Set aside. 
2. Turn heat down a little and add onion. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes, and then add in garlic and thyme. Cook for another minute or so. Keep an eye on the garlic. 
3. Add beans, stock, paprika, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Toss in sausage, and heat through. Remove from heat. Fold in kale and gently stir until just wilted. Serve hot. 

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