I keep seeing people posting things on social media along the lines of “wishing summer would never end,” or “I wish summer would last all year,” or “kill me, summer’s almost over.” Meanwhile, I’m over here like “byeee summer…I have pumpkin spice lattes to drink, cinnamon chai candles to light and slow-cooker soups to make!” In particular, this slow-cooker kale, white bean and sausage soup.
If you couldn’t tell already, I’m reaaaally into fall. It is hands down my favorite season of the entire year. Here in Los Angeles, we don’t quiiite get the weather that I associate with the season but I just love the changing of the leaves, the crispness in the air and of course, the comfort food that makes a comeback.
As some of you know, I work full time in the advertising industry which translates to long hours and gourmet weeknight dinners of scrambled eggs and avocado. Don’t get me wrong, I love eggs and avocado, but it can get old if you’re eating it basically every night of the week. I try to meal prep on Sundays for both my weeknight lunches and dinners, but sometimes, life happens and “meal prep Sunday” becomes “meal prep Monday night at 9pm because I got off of work late and there was a bad accident on the 405 that doubled my commute.” But have no fear, because slow-cooker meals are here and this particular recipe is the PERFECT easy meal that you can just throw in the slow cooker and forget about!
It starts with spicy chicken sausage that is browned for a few minutes on the stovetop then added the the slow cooker with a slew of other ingredients: canned diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, white beans, tomato paste, chicken broth and bay leaves. The mixture is cooked on low for a few hours and then the kale is added in the last 15-20 minutes. This makes for tender kale that doesn’t lose it’s beautiful green color by being cooked to death. After the kale is cooked, the soup is ready! You can either serve it up immediately with some charred bread (and wine, of course) OR allow it to cool completely and store it in your fridge for later in the week! It’s so delicious and it will become your go-to meal this season. I hope you enjoy!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb uncooked spicy chicken sausage
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- ½ large yellow onion, diced
- 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
- 2 14.5 oz cans white beans (e.g. Great Northern Beans or Cannellini)
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lb kale, torn into bite-size pieces
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Fresh chive, for garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-high flame. Remove the meat in your sausage from the casings and add to the skillet, making sure to break it up into bite-size pieces with your hands.
- Allow the sausage to brown for about 5-7 minutes, making sure to stir every minute or so. You just want to brown the sausage, not cook it all the way through.
- Add the browned sausage, garlic, onion, diced tomatoes, white beans, tomato paste, chicken broth and bay leaves to the slow cooker and allow to cook on low for 3½ hours.
- After 3½ hours, add the pieces of kale and allow to cook on low for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the kale is just tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer to bowls, garnish with fresh chive and serve with charred bread OR store in the refrigerator for later.