Kale and White Bean Stew

There is a chill in the air in California this morning and have I got the perfect cure your you! If you have a little time off this Martin Luther King Jr. Monday, after taking some time to think about why you have the day off (I’m constantly reminding myself to do this on days off-there IS a reason right?!), make a big pot of this delicious stew and cozy up on the couch with a good book. There, you just got a picture of how my day will go!

In an effort to use my giant Costco bag of kale that brought about this perfect side dish I found this recipe from Bon Appetite. I tweaked it a little, most notably, I used baby kale instead of curly kale and added chicken sausage. You can easily omit the sausage if you want a vegetarian version, but I think the sausage really bumps the stew up into the “hearty enough to eat for dinner” category. Plus, this stew is filled to the brim with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, even fiber! AND it is low in fat and calories, so go ahead and fill your soup bowl to the brim!

This stew starts off just like most soups and stews- with garlic, shallots, celery, and carrots.

Chop it all up and side it into your stew pot preheated with 2 tablespoons of oil. 

Then, rinse and drain your white beans. I used 2 cans of low sodium white beans. You could use dried white beans if you have 4 extra hours lying around, but I think the canned version works just fine. Just try to get the low sodium version and make sure to rinse the beans before using.

After your veggies have been sautéing for about 15 minutes, add in the drained beans and chopped sausage. I used artichoke and jalapeño chicken sausage but you can use whatever flavor you like! Here is a place to get creative :)

Cook about 5 minutes and the add your broth. I used half and half vegetable broth and chicken broth. If you are leaving sausage out and want a vegetarian version you can easily use all vegetable broth, but I like the depth of flavor that the chicken broth brings. After you add your broth throw in 3(ish) bay leaves and a big tablespoon of thyme. I don’t worry about pulling the bay leaves out of stews and sauces before serving. My mom used to always say “whoever gets the bay leaf has to do the dishes!” So, less work for you AND a built in dinner game :)

Cover and let simmer on low for about 20 minutes. Now it is time for the star of the show- the kale! If you use baby kale as I did, you just throw those handfuls in-couldn’t be any easier! If you can’t find baby kale, you can use curly kale, you just have to give it a rough chop before tossing it in the pot. You are going to load up on kale- it might even be overflowing your pot!

But don’t worry, it cooks way down! Let that kale cook down for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Right before serving add in 2 tablespoons of my secret weapon

Sherry vinegar! Have you tried using sherry vinegar? It is such a versatile product and really ups the flavor of tons of dishes. Plus, at about 3-4 dollars a bottle it is a totally affordable addition to your pantry.

Season with salt and pepper before serving. Serve along with some crusty bread for dipping. This stew is warm, hearty, and FILLED with flavor. Perfect for eating in your coziest sweater legs curled up on the couch while catching up on your DVR. :)

Enjoy!

Kale and White Bean Stew

Adapted from Bon Appetite

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds baby kale leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped peeled carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped shallots (about 4)
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 chicken sausage links, chopped
  • 2 15-ounce cans white beans (preferably low sodium), rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

  • Heat olive oil in medium pot over medium heat. Add chopped carrots, celery, shallots, and garlic; cook until soft, stirring, about 15 minutes (do not brown vegetables).  Add white beans and sausage and cook about 5 minutes. Add 4 cups broth, thyme, and bay leaves and cook 20 minutes covered on a low simmer. Add kale and simmer 15-20 minutes longer.  Mix in Sherry wine vinegar right before serving. Season with salt and pepper.
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