Try this! At your game party, instead of chili, serve this hearty soup and learn the budget power of using a little bit of flavorful sausage to create a lot of satisfying food. Let guests garnish their own bowls with sliced red onions, red pepper flakes or hot sauce, crumbled Feta cheese, fresh chopped parsley or basil and whole-grain croutons.
2 (32-ounce) boxes low sodium chicken broth, divided
1 (12-ounce) package The Original Brat Hans Chicken Sausage, such as Roasted Artichokes and Olives or Spinach & Feta, sliced
(I use spicy Italian sausage taken out of the case and crumbled)
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
7 cups (cannellini, navy or great northern), divided SEE RECIPE BELOW ON HOW TO PREPARE DRIED BEANS
1 bunch organic kale, stems and tough ribs removed, leaves roughly chopped
Heat 1/4 cup broth in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage slices and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and sausage is just browned, about 10 minutes. Add onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 10 minutes more. (Add a generous splash of broth to the pot if onions begin to stick.)
Meanwhile, put 3 cups beans and 2 cups broth into a blender and purée until smooth; set aside. Add remaining broth to sausage mixture in pot and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add kale, reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until wilted and softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover, add remaining 4 cups beans, bean puree, salt and pepper and simmer until hot throughout, about 5 minutes more.
Per serving: 310 calories (50 from fat), 6g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 25mg cholesterol, 510mg sodium, 45g total carbohydrate (16g dietary fiber, 2g sugar), 22g protein
HOW TO PREPARE DRIED BEANS (better for you than canned)
Cooking beans at home is renowned as a simple way to save money and provide the base for many a healthy meal. It requires little effort and they’re easy to keep on hand in the fridge or freezer. And then you can quickly put together everything from basic beans and rice (seasoned differently in different cultures) to soups, salads, dips and spreads.
1 pound dried white beans (cannellini, navy or great northern)
1 yellow onion, quartered
2 dried bay leaves
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
Spread beans in a single layer on a large sheet tray; pick through to remove and discard any small stones or debris and then rinse well.
Soak the beans using one of these two methods:
Traditional soaking method: In a large bowl, cover beans by 3 inches with cold water, cover and set aside at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight.
Quick soaking method: In a large pot, cover beans by 3 inches with cold water, cover and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, remove pot from heat and set aside, covered, for 1 hour.
Drain soaked beans and transfer to a large pot. Cover by 2 inches with cold water, add onion and bay leaves and bring to a boil; skim off and discard any foam on the surface. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, gently stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Drain beans (if desired), discard onions and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.
Per serving: 150 calories (5 from fat), 0.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 120mg sodium, 28g total carbohydrate (11g dietary fiber, 0g sugar), 10g protein
Source: Whole Foods Market