Winter cooking lets you make hearty soups and call them dinner. Here's a perfect example. Full of vegetables, beans and rice, this soup, inspired by the classic Italian minestrone, is substantial enough to serve as a main course -- paired, naturally, with some great bread.
The soup features kale, which adds color and flavor and boosts nutrition. I blanch the kale in salt water to soften the flavor; if you’re turned off by the green's assertive bitterness, look for baby kale, which is much milder, or substitute Swiss chard.
Make Ahead: This soup profits from being prepared a day in advance, covered and refrigerated; taste after reheating, and adjust the seasoning as needed. If the soup has thickened too much, add water or broth to reach the desired consistency.
Servings: 6 - 8
Yield: Makes about 9 1/2 cups
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup diced onion (from 1 small onion)
- 1 medium carrot, cut into approximately 1/4-inch dice (1/2 cup)
- 1 rib celery, cut into approximately 1/4-inch dice (1/2 cup)
- 8 ounces fresh andouille sausage, casings removed
- 3 ounces peeled, seeded winter squash, such as butternut, cut into approximately 1/2-inch dice
- 1 medium potato, peeled and cut into approximately 1/2-inch dice (6 ounces)
- 1/2 cup canned no-salt-added chopped Italian-style tomatoes, drained
- One 15.5-ounce can no-salt-added great Northern beans, drained and rinsed (1 2/3 cups)
- 1/3 cup uncooked basmati or long-grain white rice
- 6 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth, or more as needed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces kale, baby kale or swiss chard, thick stems removed and discarded, leaves torn into approximately 1 1/2-inch pieces (see headnote)
- Water, as needed
Heat the oil in a 4-to-5-quart soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion; cook for about 3 minutes, until the onion starts to soften. Add the carrot, celery and salt to taste; cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the andouille; cook for about 5 minutes, until the sausage appears to be cooked, using a spoon to break up any clumps. Add the squash, potato, tomatoes, beans, rice and broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the broth to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 20 minutes, adjusting the heat so the broth maintains a very slow boil, until the rice is cooked through and the potatoes are tender.
While the soup is cooking, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and cook for 2 minutes. If you’re using baby kale or chard, cook for 1 minute. Immediately pour into a colander to drain.
When the soup is ready, add the blanched greens and stir to combine. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. If the soup is too thick, thin with water or additional broth.
From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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