Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sausage, Kale, and Bean Stew

Jan here, revisiting a favorite recipe.

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!

(This is an inside joke between my husband and I. When the right time is to open presents has been a topic of discussion for thirty-five years! I say Christmas morning is the only time to open presents, and he, well, has a differing opinion.)

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 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, 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.

Stop by Jan's website to learn more about her books: www.JanDrexler.com


  1. Wow! A blizzard and Christmas you will remember. We had temperatures in the 40's and gloomy weather. Fog conditions did hinder some travelers until it cleared some. Glad you were able to celebrate Christmas and open gifts on Christmas Eve as a fmily. God bless you with a great 2017.

    Thank you for sharing the stew recipe--it sounds delicious. I'm ready to have all the sweets gone. I had a butterscotch cookie filled with walnuts with coffee for breakfast this morning. A few more of those tasty cookies---but then maybe I should put them in the freezer since they freeze well. LOL

    1. Yes, we will remember this Christmas!

      This stew is so flavorful! I can't wait to have it again. Meanwhile, I need to fix containers of goodies for our adult children to take home with them. For some reason, they all went home without taking their share.

      Wishing you a Happy New Year, too!

  2. I hear you on wanting healthy food after all the treats, Jan. I thoroughly enjoyed my pummelo today.

    I'm sorry for the inconvenience of the blizzard (and the dangers for so many), but it surely does sound cozy.

    1. We had plenty of warning for this one, so most people were safe. Folks around here plan ahead for times like these...at least, most of them do.

  3. That's why we did the baking at my daughter's place and I left most of it there. Though she did sneak me a care package of sugar cookies on Christmas Eve and one of shortbread on Christmas day. LOL She didn't believe me when I said the joy was in the baking together not the eating.

    We got your big storm a day later. They showed its progress on the weather maps and we Ontarians are blaming you for the yucky weather we got on Boxing Day which included copious amounts of freezing rain. So thanks for sharing. :-)

    1. You're welcome, Kav! I'm glad you enjoyed our storm, including the freezing rain. But I really can't take the credit - Wyoming sent it our way. We just passed it on. :)

      I've been packing up goodies in boxes to send with my sons whenever they leave the house. My oldest son is taking a box to work in the morning...

  4. Jan, I can help you out with your overage of fudge ~ just ask and I will be happy to send you our address (notice how I said "our" ~ lol). My husband is used to my books coming and doesn't ask, "What's in that package?"
    Our daughter came from Texas and we played a lot of games. She got a quick flight Saturday back on Monday. We live 195 miles round trip from the airport but still closer than Dallas! Such a good time together. Blessings to you, Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

    1. Kathleen! I'll send you some! :)

      Glad you got to spend some good times with your daughter!

  5. Jan, I'm glad you shared this again! It sounds so delicious!

    1. It is! I think I'm going to try the next batch with ham instead of sausage.

      Yes, that's leftover Christmas ham. We have plenty. ;)

  6. Oh, Jan, it is a pain when the weather interferes with our holiday plans. No matter how much we might long for a white Christmas. But the only way to look at it is as an adventure.

    And oh do I hear you on the sugar. I'm still stuffing myself silly. But by this weekend I'll be ready to chunk it all and go back to eating normally.