Chicken Sausage and White Bean Stew with Lacinato Kale

  • 2 links fresh sweet Italian sausage (pork or chicken)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 14 oz can white beans (we prefer butter or cannellini beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese

This stew is one of those saving-grace meals that is both versatile and easy, and a great, healthy weeknight meal.

In a large soup pot, heat the vegetable oil until smoking.  Remove the casings from the sausage and discard them.  Place sausages in the pot and brown them well on all sides, breaking up the meat with the back or a wooden spoon.  Add the onions, carrots, celery and thyme.  Sauté for 5-6 minutes or until the vegetables are softened and fragrant.  Add the bay leaf, chicken stock and water.  Bring soup to a boil then reduce to simmer.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked to al’dente and the sausage is tender.  Add the beans and cook 5 minutes more.   Add the kale and mix well or cover the pot to steam all the kale, this only takes about 30 seconds (you don’t want to over-cook the kale).  Add the lemon juice and zest and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve in large bowls sprinkled with parmesan cheese or drizzled with truffle oil.