Saturday, September 23, 2006

Sausage and Bean Soup

Autumn is finally here - as of 12:03 Eastern time this morning, the exact time of the autumn equinox. The two equinoxes every year (autumn and spring) are the times at which the sun is directly over the equator and - theoretically, at least - day and night share equal time of 12 hours in both the northern and southern hemispheres of the Earth.

In the northern hemisphere the nights are longer going forward and, particularily in New England, you'll certainly start feeling a chill in the air. We brought our first pumpkin home yesterday to celebrate our favorite time of year and - after a wet and chilly day walking around to the annual yard sales around Ashmont, Dorchester - we decided we wanted comfort food in the form of soup...

But, what kind of soup? Good old standby chicken and dumpling stew (which we surprisingly haven't blogged on yet, but I assure you we will), a meatball sort of soup or possibly something new. We went with the something new as long as that something new included sausage! Looking around the web, we saw a few recipes that caught our eye... we took aspects from many recipes and came up with our own for sausage and bean soup.

We put our soup pot on and started getting 12 cups of chicken broth boiling with 1 chopped onion and 4 cloves of garlic. In the meantime, we chunked up 1.5 lbs of turkey kielbasa and threw in the sausage along with almost a whole 32oz can of diced tomatoes, 2 cups thawed chopped spinach, 2 bay leaves, ground fennel, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.

After returning to a slow boil, add in a 19oz can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and a 16oz can of white kidney beans. Slow boil this pot of loving good yumminess for at least 30 minutes more, but, hey, the longer you have time to cook this, the better it will be! Sprinkle with a little parmesean cheese right before serving.

Came out DELICOUSLY - a real nice, spicy kick from the sausage and pepper (perfect for chilly weather!), wonderful, flavorful broth, and lovely green spinach and beans and kielbasa chunks in every bite! Excellent leftovers, too...

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