Tuscan Bean, Cabbage & Sausage Soup
by Sara Foster, Foster’s Market, Durham, North Carolina
This basic soup can be made using various beans (garbanzo, black, or cannellini) and greens (spinach, chard, collards, or escarole) based on what’s in season, or what you have on hand. If you’re looking for something quick, canned beans work nicely in place of the dried ones.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 1 (12-ounce) package uncured sweet apple Smart Chicken sausage, chopped
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed and thinly sliced
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup dried navy beans, rinsed and picked through
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoons Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ head cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat until sizzling hot. Add the onions, reduce heat to low, and cook and stir about 10 minutes, until soft and lightly browned. Add the sausage and cook and stir about 5 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and cook and stir 5 additional minutes, until the celery is soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute more.
Add the broth, beans, bay leaves, dried rosemary, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper, and stir to mix, then bring the soup to a low boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook partially covered, about 1 hour 30 minutes, until the beans are tender.
Remove and discard the bay leaves from the soup. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if desired. Stir in the cabbage and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and fresh rosemary, and simmer just until the chard begins to wilt, about 5 minutes. Serve warm with big slices of grilled or toasted bread brushed with olive oil and seasoned with sea salt.