Cozy White Bean, Fennel Sausage, Leek & Rapini Soup
A wonderful hearty, nourishing and flavorful soup that's perfect throughout the colder months. The leftovers are maybe our favorite part, as the flavors continue to deepen a few days after making it - great in the fridge or freezer for quick belly-warming lunches and dinners.
- 2 leeks
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons Olio Santo or House Blend EVOO
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced yellow onion and/or fennel bulb
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 dried bay leaf
- Sea salt
- 1¼ pounds pork or turkey sweet Italian sausages with fennel (GF folks: please check your packaging, or ask the butcher to make sure sausages are gluten-free)
- 7 cups chicken stock
- 1½ cups stewed tomatoes plus 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 large bunches rapini, woody stem ends removed, chopped, 6-8 cups (kale, collards, or any hearty leafy green would also work here)
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans or 2 cups beans made from scratch
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For serving: Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, grated Parmesan, red-pepper flakes, and your favorite olive oil for finishing like Olio Santo, Reserve, Rosemary, or even Jalapeño
Wash and trim the leeks. Slice the tender white ends into thin rounds-you
want to have about 1 cup sliced leeks.
Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over
medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, onion, carrots, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon
salt. Cover the pot and stew the veggies over medium-low heat until tender,
15 to 20 minutes.
In the meantime, in a large skillet, brown all sides of the fennel sausage--no
need to fully cook the sausages at this point, because they will continue cooking in the stew. Remove the sausages from the heat and slice into ½"-thick rounds.
Once the stewing veggies are tender, add the chicken broth and tomatoes
to the pot. Bring to a simmer and add the rapini and sausage rounds. Cook
until both veggies and sausage are cooked through, about 8 more minutes of
Finally, add the beans to the pot. Turn off the heat and let all the ingredients mingle. Taste for seasoning and add salt and black pepper to your
liking. (How much seasoning you'll need will depend on how salty your broth
and sausages are.) I like red-pepper flakes in this stew, but I tend to serve them
on the side so that the non-spicy members of my tribe enjoy the soup as well.
Fish out and discard the bay leaf.
Scoop the stew into large shallow bowls and scatter chopped parsley over
the top and a healthy drizzle of olive oil. Pass around bowls of grated Parm and red-pepper flakes.
We also LOVE it with our homemade Herb Croutons floating on top!
- Mix up and boost the spices and flavors with Aglio Olio, North Beach, Napa Valley Blend, OMG or Herbs de Provence!
Photo and recipe adapted from Erin Scott's Yummy Supper.