Christmas at our house was delightful. :) With a blizzard warning for Christmas Day, we moved our festivities to after church on Christmas Eve. We had our Christmas Tea (see this post for details) and then did what we have never done since I've been married - - we opened presents on Christmas Eve!
And then the blizzard hit early Sunday morning, starting with freezing rain and quickly turning to snow. Church was canceled, and we hunkered down. The wind really picked up around 2:30 in the afternoon, and by 4:00 the interstate was closed from the Wyoming state line to the Missouri River. That's half of a very large state!
The biggest problem was that we were in the house...with lots...and lots...and lots of food. Remember all those Christmas treats? The Christmas dinner? Fudge? Pies? Cookies? More fudge?
Oh, it was a wonderful feast. :)
But now - even before the New Year arrives - I'm ready to go back to reasonable eating. In fact, if I never see another grain of sugar again, it will be too soon.
(I say that now, but we still have fudge around...)
Anyway, to help combat the Christmas goodie woes, I looked up this soup recipe I shared a few years ago. I still love this one for its savory goodness. And it's so easy to make!
Sausage, Kale, and Bean StewThe 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, 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?
Now it's your turn! How was your Christmas celebration? Whatever chaos ensued, I hope you took time to contemplate the surpassing wonderful news of Christ's birth!
Jan Drexler loves her family, her home, cooking and just about anything made by hand. But she loves her Lord most of all.