Friday, December 14, 2012

White Beans and Beef Smoked Sausage Stew

I haven’t had beans in a while and I do like beans.  So tonight I went in search for something new, but not too difficult or exotic.  I wanted something comforting.

I saw this recipe on the Real Simple web site and I liked the idea of sausage, beans and spinach with a tomato broth.  The problem was that the recipe was written for the slow cooker, using dried beans and rosemary.  I didn’t have either of those items in my pantry and I needed something that would come together quickly - so that wasn’t going to make the cut tonight.  What I did have were a couple of cans of beans and a beef smoked sausage in my freezer, as well as, that giant bag of spinach that I get from Costco.  The one that takes up an entire section of my fridge, yet cooks down to about 2 cups.  Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it is truly just a bunch of fluff.

I started to visualized this one pot meal in my head and the next thing I knew.  I was on my way to making a quick and easy sausage and bean stew.  Whenever I add sausage, either whole or ground.  There is very little need for extra seasoning.  Sometimes I don't even add salt or pepper, like with this recipe. Sausage has so much flavor and when cooked with anything, it renders its flavor throughout with very little effort from the cook.  This dish is called a stew, but it truly is more like a hearty soup - either way it's delicious!

I’m not a big fan of rosemary as a seasoning for stews or soup because it can easily overpower the dish.  When I feel the need to add a dried herb to a stew or soup, I almost always choose thyme and sometime oregano or both - for my palate it works the best.

If you don’t have fresh spinach, use a box of frozen leaf spinach.  I always have a box or two in my freezer, just in case.  Remember, a well stocked pantry and freezer will allow you to pull together many delicious meals in a pinch.


13           oz.          beef smoked sausage, sliced
1              large      onion, chopped small
3              large      cloves garlic, minced
½             tsp.        thyme
14           oz.can   chicken broth
14           oz.can   Italian stewed tomatoes
15           oz.can   white kidney beans – cannellini, drained
5              oz.          spinach

Heat a skillet over med-high heat; add sausage lightly brown; add onions and garlic and let cook until onions are soft.
Add chicken broth and stewed tomatoes (break up large pieces) and bring to a boil.
Add beans and bring back to a boil.
Add spinach and toss to wilt.
Let simmer for about 10 minutes.


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