Last night I really felt like having some broccoli soup, so I went on line to get some ideas... I noticed that almost all of the recipes I found were very similar, broccoli with onion, celery, some sort of cream and cheese. Now, don't get me wrong. This type of broccoli soup is delicious, but not so good for my high cholesterol! I stumbled across a recipe that called for things like white beans and sausage, along with broccoli and thought that sounded delicious. I have to tell you....this soup came out amazing, and the best thing? no cheese and no cream! So here goes...
Begin by making the "broccoli" part of this soup:
Broccoli (I used half of a large "Costco" bag)
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Box of chicken broth
In a heavy pan, I cooked the onion in a small amount of olive oil. When it was almost done, I added the garlic. After about 5 minutes, put in the broccoli and season with salt and pepper.
Take off the heat and use either a hand blender or your food processor and thoroughly puree. This part is done, and you can move on to the white bean and sausage part!
Here are your ingredients:
1 package of sausage, casings removed and broken up (I used sweet Italian)
1 bunch of kale (remove the stalks and chop)
mushrooms (I used about 5-6)
1 can of Cannelini beans, drained
2 thick slices of panchetta, diced and cooked (you could use bacon instead)
Salt and Pepper
Crushed red pepper
fresh chopped parsley
In a large, heavy pan, cook the sausage. After draining the fat, add your kale, season with some pepper, and cook until the kale is wilted. Add your sliced mushrooms as well. I don't like to cook the mushrooms separately because I find they get too over cooked by the time the soup is done. I had some left over green beans, so I threw those in as well. Feel free to add any other vegetable you would like, such as carrots or zucchini, or even cauliflower!
At this point, combine the broccoli soup with the sausage and kale, and add your white beans. Your taste buds will have to take over now! The measurements stop and the random sprinkling begins. I found the soup needed more onion flavor, so I added some dried chopped onion. I also added more crushed red pepper than I thought I would. As for the Thyme, I just kept adding more until I could get that wonderful fresh Thyme flavor. Don't forget the parsley!
This is the part I enjoy the most, customizing the soup to the way I like it! It really gives you a chance to get creative. Just remember to write down all that you add so that you can re-create your masterpiece!