With the weather changing and the cold air whipping through my drafty charming-but-let’s-face-it-these-windows-need-to-be-replaced apartment, I find myself using my oven a lot more. Throughout summer I could barely be bothered to scramble an egg, but this week I’ve baked pumpkin bread, peanut butter cookies, and brownies. As for savory things, I’ve rekindled my love affair with soup. Sure, we take a few months of the year off, just to get a breather. Some space. Some “me time.” But once Fall rolls around, we realize how much we’ve missed each other, how much we really need each other. Well, I need soup anyway. I’m not under any assumption that soup needs me. I’m not actually crazy.
I typically end up making a big Dutch oven (shut up) full of soup on Sundays, since that’s when I have free time and then I can, presumably, eat it all week. This weekend I made one of my very favorite soups, White Bean and Cabbage Soup with Sausage. I started making this soup in college, when the scent of rosemary and thyme filled the whole overpriced, kinda grungy apartment and I fell in love. With a soup. I’m pretty sure T-Pain wrote a song about that.
This is one of the easiest soups, because there’s little more involved than chopping. Actually, most soups are really easy, but this one doesn’t even require a blender. Also, it’s extremely customizable. It’s just as good if you swap out the chicken apple sausage for a smoked sausage or something spicier. Or, if you’re a vegetarian, feel free to use veggie sausage or no sausage at all; double the beans and it’s still just as filling.
Cabbage and White Bean Soup with Sausage
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
12 ounces fully cooked chicken-apple sausages (about 4), halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (or any other sausage)
4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage, about 1/2 small head (I just used a package of chopped cabbage for coleslaw)
3 leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise, about 3 cups (I used a bunch of green onions)
2 cups baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise, then halved crosswise
2 tablespoons tomato paste concentrate, from tube (I can never find this. I use it from a can and put the rest in a baggie in the freezer)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (I used dried herbs because what, am I made of money?)
8 cups low-salt chicken broth (I used 1/2 broth, 1/2 water because, once again, not made of money)
1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage slices and sauté until brown around edges, about 5 minutes. Add cabbage; sauté 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to same pot and heat over medium heat. Add leeks and carrots and sauté until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, parsley, and rosemary and stir 1 minute. Add broth, sausage-cabbage mixture, and beans and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Eat it all week for your lunch.