Monday, November 23, 2015

Sausage, Kale and Bean Stew

The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful!

Winter has finally come to the Black Hills with a bit of snow and cold temperatures. But we're ready! The wood pile is full and overflowing, the pantry is stocked, and new soup and stew recipes are lined up for tasting!

This recipe was delicious! The flavors wrapped around each other in a delightful savory blend.

Now, if that description doesn't make you want to try this stew, maybe the easy preparation will...

Sausage, Kale and Bean Stew


2 pounds bulk sausage (I used turkey sausage)
1 cup chopped carrots
2 or 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed (optional)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 16-oz. can tomato sauce
8 cups broth (I used 4 cups vegetable broth and 4 cups chicken broth)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin

beans (see below for the explanation of this ingredient)

4 cups coarsely chopped fresh kale, or 1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen chopped kale

The beans: You can use any bean you like in this stew. I used lentils when I made mine. The only prep was to rinse the lentils and put them in the stew.

For other types of beans, you will need to soak and cook them first, or use canned. Some varieties that would be good are black beans, Great Northern beans, Navy beans, or Small Red beans.

The amount of beans you use depends on the type of bean. You'll want more of the small ones, like lentils or black beans, and fewer of the larger ones, like Great Northerns or the Small Reds. In general, I would use 1 - 2 cups of dried beans or 2 cans of canned beans.

The amount also depends on your own preference. Do you like lots of beans? Add more! Not so much? Keep the beans to a minimum. :)

You could make several batches of this stew, vary the beans you use, and it will turn out different every time!


In a large Dutch oven or soup pot (I used my 8 quart stock pot), cook the sausage, carrots, garlic and onion over medium-high heat until the sausage is no longer pink, breaking up the sausage as it browns. Drain the fat, if needed. Since I used turkey sausage, there wasn't any extra fat.

Add the tomato sauce, vegetable broth, bay leaf, cumin, and beans or lentils.

Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat. Simmer, covered, for about twenty minutes.

Stir in the kale and cook for 10-15 minutes more.

Remove the bay leaf and serve.

This stew freezes well, which is good, because it makes a large batch!

And a bonus: If you're following "Trim, Healthy Mama," this is a hearty "E" meal when you leave out the optional potatoes. That means it's lower fat and filled with healthy carbs. The non-sugar, stick your ribs kind of carbs. And packed with protein. A win/win, right?

How is the weather where you are? Are you ready for soups and stews yet?


  1. Our first snow was here, right here, waiting for me when I got up! I bid it good day and got right to work with a warm fire and a cup o' joe! Of course we're supposed to rise into the 50's mid-week, but that's okay, too!

    Jan, this is awesome-looking! Did you use breakfast sausage? Or an Italian sausage, bulk? I bet either would be good and I have some breakfast sausage here... Mmm......

    Plotting and planning books and holidays here! And when I start whining about snow in March, remind me that the end is near because by then I yearn for spring. :)

    1. I used the breakfast sausage, but Italian sausage with its spices would lend this stew a kind of "Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana" flavor. Yum!

      Our first snow came last Friday - a light layer of wet, slippery stuff. It stuck around, but after yesterday's sunshine, I've seen only a couple lingering patches.

      No worries. More snow in the forecast for Thanksgiving, along with single digit temperatures!

      We do love our wood stove around here :)

  2. The stew looks hearty and yummy Jan. Can't complain about the weather here in Arizona. Sunny warm days. Not too hot. Not too cold. Perfect in fact. So we are taking advantage of the lovely weather and going on a hike in the Superstition Mountains. No stew weather today, but stew tastes yummy anytime.

    1. You're making me jealous, Sandra!

    2. That sounds wonderful, Sandra! It's going to be good weather for hiking here today, too - but I have too many things on my plate today. No hiking for me :(

      I have a friend who goes horse-camping every winter in Arizona. She's a southern California girl who adores the she packs up her mules and her horse and heads south for a month or so just when our snow gets too much for her. The pictures she sends back look like fun, but I do love the snow. I think I'll stay in the north!

  3. Oooh, this would be perfect to make today if I could run buy some sausage! It's 34 degrees outside right now. Very cold!

    Thanks, Jan! This looks like something I'd love. I've made something similar with smoked sausage, sliced. That's very easy.

    1. The smoked sausage would be easy! Already cooked, so you can skip the browning the sausage step.

      I know 34 is cold for Atlanta. I really do. But we're at 33 this morning - too warm to build a fire, and great weather for being outside. It's all in your perspective, isn't it? :)

    2. So true, Jan! LOL It's tough because it hit 70 degrees a couple of days ago. Will be back up to the mid-60's this week. :)

  4. Oh yum, sans the sausage. I made lentil soup this weekend. I love soup and a salad for dinner.

    It's actually cold here this snow yet though and the temps are rising through the week with lots of sunshine which is good because I still have a ton of gardening to do. I'm soooo slow and gimpy legged it's pathetic. I even have to take my walker into the garden now. Oy, it aint' pretty. Still need to cut back some plants and rake leaves.

    Oh and I LOVE that you posted a pic of a toasty pup by the fire. Warms my heart.

    1. Oh, Kav! You need to get some young thing to do your raking for you so that you can hobble out to your garden to enjoy it. But there's a satisfying feeling when you put the garden to bed for the winter, isn't there? Tucking the plants in, cleaning things up.

      Which reminds me, I have new roses this year. I need to do something to protect them from snow shovels!

      And we have rising temps and sunshine for the next couple days, and then winter comes back. So yes, its time to get that gardening done!

  5. This sounds absolutely fabulous, Jan.