Thursday, January 12, 2012

Italian Sausage and Bean Soup Recipe with Chard

This Phase One Italian Sausage and Bean Soup with Chard is simple and delicious.

(Here's a great Phase One soup recipe to add to our Month of Daily Phase One recipes.  I made this during the Christmas holidays and took some new photos to show the steps of making the soup more clearly, and the soup was a hit at the Denny Family Christmas Party.)

Long before I ever started thinking about eating the South Beach Diet way, I was a big fan of turkey Italian Sausage, something I use in dishes like Italian Sausage and Zucchini Soup, Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes, and Spicy Cherry Tomato Sauce for Pasta. This soup also has Italian Sausage, but it's very difference than those recipes, since there are no tomatoes. The combination of sausage, beans, and chard was inspired by one I saw in a cookbook somewhere, but I only jotted down "sausage, beans, and escarole, soup" so I can't tell you where I found it.

However I can tell you it was a combination that really worked. When I created this recipe I had just picked the last of my swiss chard, and it was a bit chilly that day, so it seemed like this soup was a recipe whose time had come. Here are some highlights and step-by-step photos of how I made it.

Start chicken stock simmering in a large pot, with dried herbs added.

Squeeze turkey sausage out of casing and saute, breaking into small pieces.  Then add the cooked sausage to the soup pot and continue simmering.

For added flavor, saute onions in the same pan as you browned the sausage, scraping the bottom to remove any browned sausage bits.

Add beans, onion, and garlic to stock and continue to simmer.

I originally created this recipe when I had garden chard, but this time I had to buy a bunch of Swiss chard, which looked like this.

Cut them thick stems off the chard, then lay the leaves on top of each other and cut into ribbons that are about 1/2 inch wide.  (Sometimes I cut them in half the other way if the leaves are big because I don't like long pieces of greens in my soup.)

After the soup has simmered about 30 minutes, add the chard and continue to simmer at least 10 minutes more, or until the chard is soft.

Soup is done when greens are cooked and somewhat breaking apart and flavors are well blended. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Italian Sausage and Bean Soup And here's the original photo of this soup, which I was no doubt so proud of back in 2007!

Italian Sausage and Bean Soup with Chard
(about 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from a cookbook which can't be credited because I didn't write down the name)

8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade, but you could use canned
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. ground fennel
3-5 links turkey Italian Sausage (hot or mild, but I prefer hot)
1-2 T olive oil (to brown sausage and saute onions)
1 medium onion, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
1 tsp. garlic puree or finely chopped garlic
2 cans small white beans (with juice)
Swiss chard (or your favorite greens) - enough to make about 4 large handfuls of chard ribbons
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

In large soup pot, put chicken stock, dried basil, and ground fennel and bring to a low simmer. Simmer broth and herbs while you prepare other ingredients.

Squeeze sausage out of the casing and saute in small amount of olive oil until sausage is well browned, breaking up with the back of metal turner as it browns. Remove the browned sausage and add it to the simmering soup pot.

In the same pan saute onions until they are softened, adding more olive oil if needed. Scrape browned sausage bits off bottom of the pan as the onions cook. When onions are soft, add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes.  Add onions and garlic to the soup pot, then deglaze the pan with about 1/2 cup water, scrape off browned bits in the bottom of the pan, and add that to the soup pot.

Add the beans with juice, rinsing out each can with about 1/4 cup water and continue to let the soup simmer.

Wash chard well, cut off stems, lay about six leaves on top of each other, fold in half lengthwise, and cut into ribbons about 1/2 inch wide. I like to cut the ribbons into smaller lengths so you don't get long pieces of chard which are hard to get into the spoon.  

When the soup has simmered at least 30 minutes, add chard ribbons and simmer about 10 minutes more, or until chard is softened and flavors are well blended. Serve soup hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese to add to each bowl.

If you happen to have a Parmesan rind in the fridge, add it to the soup when you first start simmering for added flavor.

This soup freezes well, although you may not have any left!

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
This is a great main course soup for any phase of the South Beach Diet. For phase one have a big bowl of the soup with a green salad. For phase two or three, this would be delicious with 100% whole wheat bread or pita bread.

More Phase One Soups with Italian Sausage:

Spicy Sausage, Lentil, and Tomato Soup

Spicy Yellow Split Pea Soup with Italian Sausage and Green Pepper

Chard and Chickpea Soup with Sausage and Green Pepper

Crockpot Recipe for Sausage, Peppers, and Cannellini Bean Stew with Parmesan

Lentil and Sausage Soup with Cabbage
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  1. Mmmmm...I'm adding that soup to my "to try" list. We recently tried an Italian Soup recipe that was super easy and very tasty. This one is different though - I like that it has beans and it's another way for us to try swiss chard.

  2. Great fall dish! I wish my wife wasn't a veggie head...I'd so make this ;)

  3. Umm, sounds like a wonderful soup, Kalyn -- spicy and warming all the way to your toes. I love swiss chard -- just found out that our winter market is going to have it this year!!

  4. Sounds good Kalyn... especially w/ the cool weather on hand!

  5. Hmmm--I don't have swiss chard, but there's still some kale in my garden.

  6. Alysha, I loved the combination of beans and greens.

    Bill (WMM), if she's a good wife otherwise, I think you should still keep her!

    Christine, I discovered last winter how many types of greens I really do like, and chard is one of my favorite.

    Hi Bruno, it's really cold here today!

    Lucette, I must try growing kale. Is it hard to grow?

  7. Yes! Bean soup with sausage. I'm in the mood for it, too. I like your addition of chard.

    Hey - Wheresmymind; use vegan sausage. It'll work. ;-)

  8. mmm! i love italian beans and greens as my noni callied it!

  9. This is a nice fall weather soup...I love beans!

  10. Looks marvellous! I can see that being a warm and hearty bowl that goes well with a night in front of the telly :D

  11. Fall weather and soups are such a hearty combination.. Thanks. BTW,I did try ur steamed asparagus with olive oil and lemon juice nad really loved the flavors.

  12. Kale has been no harder to grow for me than swiss chard. It is a crucifer, I think, so it can get eaten by those little moths like cabbage and broccoli though.

  13. Lucette, thanks for answering!! I am going to try growing it for sure next summer!!

  14. Comments after this one are from 2007 when I updated this as a recipe favorite.

  15. Wonderful recipe, Kalyn. It has so many of the things that I love. It would be just the thing to eat, with the cold weather we're getting. Happy Holidays to you!

  16. By just looking at the soup, I feel warm already (what a cold house I'm in). Merry Christmas Kalyn.

  17. I love rustic Italian soups. This sounds perfect for this time of year.

    And I'm not doing any cooking, either. Just hanging out here in the desert, looking forward to the New Year.

    Health, peace and happiness to you in the New Year, Kalyn! xoxo

  18. The soup sounds delish! I'm going to put the ingredients on my next shopping list and try to put a pot together.

  19. Just made and ate this wonderful soup, delicious!

  20. I make a soup like this. I use spinich a lot of times as a green. Also, the sausage drippings, along with a little added olive oil is great to make croutons from some stale bread to top the soup with. A little feta or salata ricotta on top goes really well too.

  21. Made this soup today, 5 stars! Subbed kale for chard because I had kale, not chard!
    Day 4 of Phase 1 and have never felt better in my life. If Day 4 feels like this, I cannot wait to see how this works out! Your website has been an inspiration for us, we'd like to thank you!

  22. Sissy, so glad you're enjoying the blog and having such a good experience on South Beach. I get that fantastic feeling when I do phase one too. Best wishes for lots of success!

  23. This is such an ideal winter supper. I love beans and chard in soup and this looks fabulous!

  24. What a hearty bowl of soup! Italian sausage, beans, chard, etc. - I know I will love this soup.

  25. Dear Neilesh,
    I answered your question in the earlier comment. I do NOT give permission for my recipes and photos to be reproduced together anywhere else. You are welcome to use the photo with a link to the recipe on my site, but that is all.

  26. This is just about my favourite soup :-) I've also made something that sort of combines this with your gr.turkey/bean/green chile stew. Between the 2 recipes I could prob'ly eat all winter!

  27. Healthful, economical, easy and most of all-- delicious. Perfect for this weekend.

  28. When I saw the photo I feel hungry and I want to eat it.You know what I did? I cook my own sausage and I am going to post it on my blog.

  29. Just made the soup...omg, delicious! I used Jennie-O ground italian sausage and collard greens (couldn't find chard at my market). It was really terrific! Looking forward to lunches all week with this!!! So much flavor!

  30. Sarah, so glad you liked it. And I do love collard greens!

  31. Kalyn,
    This soup was an absolute hit with all my friends. I've been handing out the recipe left and right. I'd never eaten hot Italian turkey sausage before, but it added a tremendous amount of flavor to the dish. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  32. Judith, glad to hear you all enjoyed it!

  33. I love the pictures. Have never had Chard but the recipe looks delicious. I love beans and sausage so hopefully chard too. I look forward to seeing more.

  34. I've made this quite a few times since you first published the recipe and I have to say it's one of my favourite soups ever! I've made it with various subs, depending on what I had on hand, and it's always delicious :)

  35. Val, so happy to hear that. I think chard is really under-appreciated, but I'd love this with kale or spinach as well.

  36. This soup is delicious! I found the recipe while looking for ways to use the swiss chard we grew in our Fall garden. Also used my husband's venison Italian sausage. It's one of our new favorites!


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