This is what my family wants when they ask me to make Good Soup. It’s easy, delicious, freezes well, and is high in protein, plus it has a serving of leafy greens in each bowl! If your family is anything like mine, just skip letting them in on the “good for you” part—they don’t need to know.
This makes one big pot of soup, about 4 quarts. It freezes well; just don’t add the greens before freezing (add them when you warm it up to serve it). You can freeze the greens separately, chopped up, to add when it’s reheated, or you can just use fresh greens when you reheat it.
3 large carrots
2 stalks celery
1 medium yellow onion
4 cans beans (Cannelini, pinto, butter)
3 cloves garlic
Splash of olive oil
4 bay leaves
1 C white wine
2 quarts chicken stock (or 2 quarts water + 2T bullion)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 bunch chard or kale
Salt to taste
CHOP ALL THE THINGS! You want the kielbasa in 1/8-1/4” coins and the carrots, celery, and onion in an M&M-sized dice.
Put a splash of olive oil in a large pot and heat it over medium-high heat. Add your kielbasa and stir. Let it cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, while you finish your chopping. When some of the coins start to brown and curl, fish them all out with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add a little olive oil if you need to, then add the carrots, celery, and onion to your pot. Let them cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions get translucent.
Meanwhile, finely chop the garlic (or send it through a garlic press).
Add some salt to the pot (about a teaspoon of kosher salt) and stir. Scrape the veggies to the side and add a touch of oil to the center of the pot if it’s dry. Add the garlic to this spot and let it cook for about one minute (you don’t want the garlic to brown, but it should start smelling VERY garlicky).
Stir the garlic into the rest of the veggies and add the wine. Scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let this cook for about 5 minutes, then add the chicken stock and bay leaves.
Bring your pot to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the sausage and beans to the pot, stir, and let simmer for another 15 minutes. You want a solid simmer, not a rolling boil here—a boil will split all of your beans and make your soup thick and sludgy.
Taste for salt and add salt as needed (some stock is quite salty so you won’t need any; some is very low sodium so you’ll need quite a bit. This is a large pot of soup
Now is when you’d stop if you’re freezing the soup. Let it cool, ladle it into freezer containers, and you’re done. Reheat when you’re ready to eat.
If you’re either re-heating frozen soup or charging ahead, when the soup is nice and piping hot (but again, not boiling), chop up your greens and add them. You can see my greens are a little wilty and oldish, but it doesn’t matter! This is a great time to use stuff that is slightly past its prime.
Give the pot a good stir, and let it cook about 3 minutes.
Serve this soup with crusty bread, and be ready to dish up more for seconds!