This is another of those recipes that welcomes improv.
If you are lucky enough to live where you can pick up a hot rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, you can have the wings and leg quarters for dinner another time and make this soup with the breast.
Or dice and saute your own boneless breast.
If you have the time and the presence of mind, cook your own Great Northern beans.
But a can of white beans works fine — you can sub cannellini, navy or limas.
A mild yellow onion is my preference here, Vidalias are best but a white onion works.
And you can sub bell pepper (any color) or jalapenos for the chilies.
Add handful of chopped greens (turnip, spinach, kale) if you need green leafies in a meal.
Add a cup of cooked macaroni to tempt the kids.
Throw in some diced cooked carrots for color. It’s all yum.
I keep ground cumin in my pantry, but if you’re out, no worries. Use chili powder or oregano or basil. Or not.
1 c diced onion (1 cup)
2 T cooking oil
1 small can chopped green chilies (1/4 cup)
1 T minced garlic (2-3 cloves)
1 entire chicken breast, cooked and diced (2-3 cups)
1 quart cooked beans with broth (1 can beans with broth to make 4 cups)
1 t ground cumin
Salt to taste (1 tsp)
1. Saute first 4 ingredients in a hot kettle until onion is soft.
2. Add next four ingredients, stir and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
Serve with hot bread (try the Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread!)
Too tired to grocery shop and not in the mood for fast food, this is what’s for supper tonight. It’s a lighter soup for a warmer evening.
Yes, this soup is almost entirely from cans. But it’s probably still healthier than drive-thru.
Canned field peas are hard to find lately. These are *not* blackeyed nor crowder peas, but probably an Austrian winter pea, also known as a dun pea. They are currently my favorite legume and when I see them on the shelf I get half a dozen cans. I particularly like Allens or Texas Fair.
2 c. sliced smoked sausage
1 c. chopped onion
1 can field peas with snaps
1 can chilies
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
1 t Cajun spice mix
1 t cumin
Saute the sausage and onion together in a small amount of water until the onion is soft. Before lowering heat, add tomatoes and chilies and stir well for a couple of minutes to prevent sticking. Lower heat and add peas, broth and spices. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Do a taste check before adding additional salt or spice. Both the sausage and the peas will add salt and occasionally chilies will add a little fire.
I had a dream last night: I was talking to someone about how much I love kale. This morning is sort of gray and green, cloudy and rainy behind the lush foliage on the trees that look like June more than early April.
So I’m thinking it’s a day for my happy kale soup, which incidentally has sausage, beans and onion, but for me it’s all about the kale. The other stuff is in there just to keep it happy.
For anyone that wants to play along, here’s what you’ll need:
Soup kettle or Dutch oven big enough to hold a mountain of kale
A big cooking spoon or paddle (mine is wood)
Extra virgin olive oil — 2 T, more or less
One large onion, coarsely chopped. (Vidalias are a favorite, but a nice red is pretty.)
One package of smoked sausage (turkey, beef or pork, depending on the moment), sliced or diced
One can of white beans (Great Northerns are my fave)
Chopped kale (fresh or bagged; can use can in a pinch, but it’s not the same)
One box or two cans of broth: chicken, beef or vegie — (no MSG, please).
Season-All or Mrs. Dash to your liking
Heat about 2 T olive oil in your kettle. Add the onion and saute until soft. Throw in your sausage and continue to saute for 2-5 minutes, depending on how long you’re willing to stand there. Add kale, in batches if necessary, and toss until it wilts. Add beans and broth and bring to a simmer. At this point, it’s ready to eat, but I like to simmer for at least an hour so all the flavors blend together and the beans and onion are really, really soft.
I can’t look at that first picture and not want to make cornbread to go with. That particular bread is my jalapeno cheddar version, and you can find that recipe here.