Renée Kohlman was named one of Canada’s best food bloggers by the National Post for her blog, SweetSugarbean. A graduate of NAIT’s Culinary Arts program, she is a food columnist for the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. Her pantry is full of staples including:
- Cans of white beans, black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas
- Cans of tuna, salmon, sardines
- Cans of tomatoes – whole, diced, and crushed
- Pasta of various shapes
- Chicken, beef, and vegetable broths
- Cans of fruit, such as peaches, pineapple, pears
- Rice, lentils, couscous, quinoa, barley, popcorn
- Flour, oats, sugar, yeast
- Evaporated milk
- Coffee, chocolate, tea
Her quick and easy meal is a delicious and hearty soup.
“Beans are a natural fit for soup,” she says. “If you don’t have stock, you can use water. If you don’t have white beans you can use kidney beans, or black beans. I love using flavourful sausage as a base for soup, as all of the spices and herbs are right there. If you want to keep it vegetarian, just add a tsp each of dried oregano, basil, and paprika to the vegetables.”
1 Tbs (15 mL) canola oil
3-4 links fresh Chorizo or Italian sausage
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp salt
Pinch chili flakes
4 cups (1 L) low sodium chicken stock
1 - 798 mL can crushed tomatoes,
1 - 540 mL can white kidney beans, rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 tsp honey
4 cups chopped kale, thick stems removed (can use spinach or Swiss chard instead)
1 cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped basil
To taste salt and pepper
Grated Pecorino Romano, Parmesan or Asiago cheese to serve
- Warm the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Remove the sausage from its casings and add to the hot oil. Break up the sausage with the back of a wooden spoon. Stirring occasionally, brown the meat for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the vegetables, garlic, salt and chili flakes. Cook for another 5 minutes until the vegetables soften. Add the chicken stock, crushed tomatoes (rinse the can out with 2 cups of water), beans, bay leaves, and honey. Cover, bring to a boil, turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the chopped kale, and herbs. Cook 2 minutes longer. If you find the soup too thick, thin out with a bit more stock or water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide the soup into bowls. Garnish with plenty of cheese. Be generous - these are the days for eating all of the cheese!