Kale, White Bean, Chicken Sausage Soup

It’s been pretty cold lately, especially by San Diego standards! A big vat of hot soup is just the ticket to warm your insides and keep those chills stay outside. 

This kitchen sink-type soup was thrown together in minutes with what I happened to have on hand. Who wants to go to the grocery store in bad weather?! I encourage you to look at the ingredient list below as a guide, but use your creativity (and current fridge/pantry stock) to make this work for you. See my chef’s tips below for some suggestions. 

Our immune systems tend to be on high alert in the winter months with all sorts of bugs going around, so the more nutrients and variety you can squeeze into your diet, the better your body will be able to defend against those sick co-workers, friends and family members! This soup sure fits the bill in the nutrient and variety department. The following ingredients will make big contributions when it comes to keeping your immune system operating like a well-oiled machine!

  • Oregano is a natural anti-bacterial
  • Purple cauliflower and kale are loaded with Vitamin C
  • Beans and chicken offer plenty of vitamin B6 and zinc, which helps calm immune response and inflammation. 
  • Kale and beans also provide lots of folate and iron. 
  • Garlic is loaded with selenium, which has a powerful immune boosting effect, so feel free to add as much as you like! 

Okay, enough biology, science-y, nutrition-y stuff. On to the tasty part! 

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Kale, White Bean, Chicken Sausage Soup

Makes 10-12 servings

Ingredients: 

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, separated
  • 1 package lean chicken sausage - 4-5 links, thinly sliced (see chef’s tips below)
  • 2 medium sweet onions, diced
  • 1 cup celery, sliced thin
  • 3 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 head purple cauliflower, cut into bitesized pieces (plain white cauliflower is fine too - I just like the purple color :)) 
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 8 cups low-sodium bone, chicken or vegetable broth
  • Two 15-ounce cans cannellini and/or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (I used a combination of both)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, thick stems removed, and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Optional toppings: cubed avocado, shredded parmesan cheese, whole grain crostini or croutons

Directions: 

  1. Heat a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp coconut oil and sliced chicken sausage. Cook until browned on both sides - about 5 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside. 
  2. Heat another tablespoon of coconut oil in the pot, add onion and celery. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft and fragrant - 5-7 minutes. 
  3. Add cabbage, garlic, and cauliflower to pot and cook additional 3-5 minutes until vegetables have softened.
  4. Add the broth, browned chicken sausage, beans, parsley, oregano, salt and pepperand bring to a boil. 
  5. Once all ingredients are warmed through, add kale, zucchini, and lemon juice. Boil a few more minutes until kale is just wilted.
  6. Put a few bites into bowl and let cool a bit. Taste and add more salt, herbs or spices to taste, if needed. If it already tastes great, serve warm and enjoy! 

 

Chefs Tips: 

  • I used Applegate Organics Sweet Italian Chicken & Turkey Sausage. Many stores sell different brands of chicken sausage, so I just encourage you to take a look at the nutrition facts and choose one with reasonable fat content. Some sausages can get pretty high up there in the fat department. You could also swap out the sausage for 3 to 4 cups of shredded cooked chicken - cook your own or make it even easier by using a store-bought rotisserie chicken. 
  • This may seem like a lot of ingredients, but I promise, it took me no longer than 15 minutes to throw this all in a pot! You can buy many of these ingredients prepared - I bought pre shredded, pre-washed green cabbage at Trader Joe’s and just opened the bag and dumped it in. You can do the same with pre washed, chopped and bagged kale. You can also find minced garlic in a jar. Make this easy on yourselves, people! :)
  • Feel free to take creative liberties with this soup! It’s kitchen sink type of situation, so I recommending adding any and all of your favorite veggies - carrots, parsnips, tomatoes butternut squash, sweet potato, turnip rutabaga, you name it, they would all work. 
  • This soup can stay fresh in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for emergency/leftover meals for several months! 

If you try this recipe, use #jeannereillyrd and show me your handiwork!

Thanks as always for following me on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook and sharing me with all your friends, family, coworkers and strangers on the street. :) I’m have availability for new clients at the moment, so if you know of anyone or any health-focused companies looking for a nutrition coach or consultant, send them my way!