The sun came out yesterday, and the temperatures were in the 50’s (which felt like 70 to me), and it had me dreaming about summer, warmer days, and outside walks. Maybe that’s because I’ve been cooped up this week since I haven’t felt too great myself. It feels like there is a lot of flu and sickness going around where I live, which may be due to the awareness and fears surrounding Coronavirus.
Thankfully I’m feeling better, and though I can’t change the weather, I can offer a little relief with another comforting and healthy soup recipe–hearty Italian peasant soup. With chicken, sausage, beans, tomatoes, and spinach, it’s nutritious and filling!
Here is a picture of all of the ingredients I used.
Hearty Italian Peasant Soup
- 1 whole Rotisserie chicken (or 1 pound cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
- 1 (12 oz) package kielbasa [smoked sausage] (or 1 lb. mild sausage links)
- 1 medium onion chopped (any color)
- 4-6 minced garlic cloves
- 2 (15 oz) cans great Northern beans (undrained) (cannellini beans work as well)
- 1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatos (undrained)
- 5 cups chicken broth (I use Better Than Bouillon and water)
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 6 cups fresh spinach or kale (I used the entire package shown in the photo)
- 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
Begin by placing sausage links (or kielbasa) into a saute pan and cook until done and no longer pink (if using kielbasa you may want to add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil or butter). Add chopped onion and garlic and saute until onions are soft. Remove the chicken meat from the bones while the sausage and onion cook and then place that in a separate pot.
After the sausage is cooked, chop it to your desired chunk size after draining any excess grease. (The sausage I used was pre-cooked, so I just chopped it up and threw it in). Put the sausage chunks along with the garlic and onion mixture in the pot together with the de-boned chicken.
To that pot, add the beans, tomatoes, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
Finally, add the spinach to the pot about 5 minutes before serving (I like to chiffonade my spinach first, although it's not necessary for taste). Stir into the soup and cook until completely wilted. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and fill your hungry belly!
TIP: You can also make this in the crockpot as well. Just add all the ingredients in the crockpot. (While you can use uncooked chopped chicken, I would still recommend browning and draining the grease from the sausage links first [unless using kielbasa] before adding to the crockpot). Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 5-6 hours. Stir in your spinach 10-15 min. before serving, add your grated Parmesan cheese, and season to taste.
What are your favorite hearty soups in the wintertime? If you live in a cold climate, what helps you make it through until warmer days?