Friday, January 13, 2012

A Week of Ks

January 12, 2012

My week has been filled with Ks.
1. Kinley
2. Kitchen
3. Kale

Kale? How does a vegetable I've never even used before get thrown into a list with important things like Kinley?

Well, "kale" ended up being part of "kitchen" this week. Though my favorite "job" of the week was holding Kinley, I also spent some time in the kitchen making meals. I used several new recipes from Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking and from Simple and Delicious, two magazines I gave to Jill for Christmas.

Italian Sausage Bean Soup made its debut for dinner, but the leftovers have been great for lunch. And that's where the kale came in. If I'd been at home, I wouldn't have had easy assess to kale.

If you don't have a mammoth produce section a few blocks away, I think you could substitute spinach or cabbage leaves (or leave it out entirely). But don't leave this soup out of your winter time soup rotation. Kale isn't the only thing that makes it different. The Italian bulk sausage is a nice change of pace from my repertoire of hearty soup recipes that feature beef or chicken.

It was perfect timing for the return of winter temperatures this week. I served it with a cheese and herb focaccia bread and a Waldorf salad. Yum!

Italian Sausage Bean Soup
from the December/January Issue
of Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking

1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cans (14.5 oz.) reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cans (15 oz. each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup medium pearl barley
1 large carrot, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 tsp. minced fresh sage
1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary or 1/8 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
6 cups chopped fresh kale

Notes: I used about 4 cups of kale. I purchased fresh sage, but I think a sprinkle of dry sage would work just as well and would be much less expensive. I didn't use as much garlic as the recipe called for: I used about 1 teaspoon of jarred minced garlic.

In a Dutch oven, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minutes longer. Drain.

Stir in the broth, beans, tomatoes, barley, carrot, celery, sage and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Stir in kale; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and kale is wilted.

Makes 8 servings. (20 minutes prep time, 1.5 hours cook time).
Nutrition facts: 1 1/2 cups equals 339 calories, 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 23 mg cholesterol, 1,100 mg sodium, 48 g carbohydrate, 11 g fiber, 19 g protein.


  1. Very neat Kinley pictures. Oh, the fun you are having and the fun to come.

    Your soup sounds yummy! I would love it! The focaccia bread looks good too.

  2. I wish I could tell you I made the focaccia bread, but I didn't. I got it at their grocery store bakery. Maybe that will be another day's project!