Friday, January 1, 2010

Sausage, Beans, and Broccoli Rabe Soup

Friday, January 1, 2010

Yes, I know it's bit strange. Beginning the new year with a post about soup must seem quite uninspired, especially considering the December drought that my blog has suffered. I seem to recall a post in which I declared that I would write with more frequency...clearly I have issues with personal responsibility.

Actually, in some ways it's perfectly appropriate to begin the new year with a recipe that features white beans. Mightn't they be considered a good substitute for black-eyed peas, that lucky southern legume, consumed every New Year's Day of my childhood? Either way, I would be sorely remiss not to document my intense love for this soup-even if it seems ill-fitting for the auspicious first day of the year.

I have to acknowledge upfront that I know everyone does not have the same passionate response to broccoli rabe that I do. It's bitter, dark, and intense. Some might even say it's an acquired taste. There is something undeniably right, however, about its combination with sausage-a perfectly happy marriage of earthy, woodsy flavor. Simmered in a delicious, flavorful broth made hearty with chunks of potato and carrot, the two make a soulful, satisfying meal. It's an excellent choice for a cold winter's eve, or a rainy day. I've made it many times, and even though the SH has an aversion to my broccoli rabe, he devours several bowls each time.

Now, I know that a post singing the praises of a humble bowl of soup is not exactly a triumphant return to regular blogging, but it's something. A first post, on the first day of the new year. I have high hopes...

Sausage, Beans and Broccoli Rabe Soup
adapted from Cooking 'Round the Clock, by Rachael Ray

2 tablespoons EVOO
1 pound bulk Italian sweet sausage (I always buy spicy-just my preference)

1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped (It makes me feel virtuous to toss in two or three instead of just one)
1 starchy Idaho potato, peeled and chopped into small dice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 can (15 ounces) white beans (cannellini or white kidney), drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 bunch broccoli rabe, chopped (3 cups)
2 quarts chicken broth
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano for serving

1. Heat a medium pot or a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add EVOO and sausage and brown, crumbling with a spatula.
2. Add onions, carrots, potatoes, garlic, bay leaf, and beans. Season with salt and pepper. Cook to begin to soften the vegetables, 5 minutes. Add broccoli rabe and cook until just wilted.
3. Add chicken broth and cover pot. Raise heat and bring stoup to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 15 minutes.
4. Remove bay leaf, adjust seasonings, and serve soup with grated cheese for topping


Tyne said...

YUM! Miss you mucho. I did my duty with the black-eyed peas. Let's see if they work better this year than they did last! Ha!

AmberlyThrower said...