Rustic Bean & Sausage Soup

Soup is always a good option for lunch or dinner. It cooks up quickly on the stove top or throw ingredients in a crockpot and “forgetaboutit.”

I guess it’s no surprise that I’m wearing out a few of my kitchen appliances with all the cooking I do. I’ll have to tap Santa for a few early Christmas gifts this year. 

screenshot-2016-12-09-03-45-21First, the Food Saver died. I had a clue this summer when we were preserving the last of the summer corn and it would only seal about every other bag. I hoped that I could make it last a bit longer….. silly me – what was I thinking? Earlier in my cooking life, I had a Seal-a-Meal version and wore that out after 12 years or so. The next new sealer was a Food Saver which only lasted about 10 years. Now looking for a replacement. Santa, a new Food Saver please!

screenshot-2016-12-09-03-46-05Second, the crockpot cracked. Now I hate to admit that I have five crockpots – two minis (I use them for dips, baked beans, etc.), one crockpot from the 70’s which works when it wants to and leaks at random, one untraditional crockpot that is like a casserole dish/pot that sits on top of a heating unit (this one is from the 80’s and went to the college dorm with the kids and should have never returned).  Then I had one newer crockpot from the 90’s and the ceramic insert just cracked and fell apart a few weeks ago. It was the crockpot I used the most in recent times. Santa, add one large crockpot to the list please!  (I wonder if Santa shops at Costco where I saw both of these. Hint, hint!)

screenshot-2016-12-09-08-06-23Things happen in threes, right? My large bamboo cutting board cracked in two a few days ago. My handy hubby glued it back together and that lasted about a week before it cracked again. Is there room in your sack for a cutting board Santa?

And don’t get me started on measuring spoons. I can’t seem to keep a full set together. I’ve lost the half-teaspoon in three sets. A friend sent me a new set and I was thrilled to have a full set of measuring spoons again. (Hubby has often accused me of being one “spoon” short and  for the first time in our marriage that I was working with a full set …… ) Well…. a few months later the one-teaspoon measuring spoon went missing from that set. I’m stumped and beginning to think there is a “place” where missing socks and spoons go – anyone know where that place is? I’d like to retrieve a few!

I can’t afford to break or wear out anymore appliances now so today’s recipe is a simple Italian Tuscan soup. The hardest part of this recipe was cutting up the vegetables (without my bamboo cutting board). I also made a nice loaf of bread to accompany the soup. It made a great dinner for a cold snowy night!

And here is a blog from Fooducate on the 5 Reasons You Should Prepare Your Own Soup you might find interesting. 

Rustic Tuscan White Bean & Sausage Soup

Yields 6

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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 large potato, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • Sprig of rosemary and thyme
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon vegetable bouillon (I used my homemade bouillon)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pepper flakes or small pepper chopped or whole
  • Medium parmesan cheese rind
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans beans (I used one can cannellini beans, one can great northern) Optional: drain and rinse beans or not. Your choice.
  • 1 large bunch of spinach or kale, stems removed and roughly chopped (I didn't put this in my soup since my hubby doesn't like cooked kale or spinach)
  • 1 quart chicken stock (homemade or store bought)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add sausage and brown, stirring occasionally to break into smaller pieces.
  3. Add onion, carrots, potato, and bay leaves.
  4. Season generously with salt and cook until vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add garlic and beans, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add kale, and cook until it becomes slightly wilted. Add chicken stock, season with salt and pepper, and cover with lid.
  7. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and keep at a simmer for about 45 minutes to one hour.
  8. The soup will thicken as the potatoes begin to release their starch into the soup. If it's not thick enough blend little bits of the soup and add back to the pot.
  9. Taste to see if it needs more seasoning.
  10. Remove bay leaves, pepper (if left whole) and sprigs of rosemary and thyme before serving.


Cool soup completely, and refrigerate it for the following day. The soup tastes best the second day.


Calories: 4253 cal
Carbohydrates: 278 g
Fat: 248 g
Sodium: 10420 g
Cholesterol: 529 g
Protein: 234 g
Fiber: 53 g

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