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7 February, 2018

Slow Cooker Sausage and Greens Soup

Posted in : apple, beans, cheap, chicken, crock pot, crockpot, dinner, easy, food, healthy, kale, pasta, sausage, Slow cooker, vegetables on by : Jeanette Schramm Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

So, my right wrist is immobilized in a brace after a stupid hockey injury landed me with some torn cartilage. We’ve been eating out, eating frozen, and eating a lot of popcorn lately, as a result. It’s been maybe a week and a half to two weeks of that, and I’m about ready to kill for a home cooked meal.  Even though the doctor said “no repetitive motions” was part of the healing process, I decided to bend the rules a bit and try chopping things. Granted, my left hand did most of the work and my right hand just held onto the knife. I did eventually get everything cut and tossed into the pot (after about an hour and a half of awkward knife-handling).  At least cutting the kale was easier than cutting the onion.

Here’s a fun fact:
The first iteration of this soup featured a few changes from the final. One change was that I put the apple chunks in early. They were great — nice and soft, super tender — but the whole soup tasted like apple. Like, you could have pureed it and passed it off as weirdly-textured applesauce. I moved the apples to the kale stage for that reason. A little less tender, but at least it wasn’t apple soup.
The second change was one involving pasta. Initially, I had mixed in some ditalini, my favorite soup pasta. Five and a half hours later, when we were enjoying our apple-flavored soup, I noticed something was off with the texture. It took me a bowl and a half to realize that the boogery stuff wasn’t overcooked apples, but rather sad, overcooked pasta. It was really pretty gross.
For all you intrepid experimenters out there, save yourself the trouble and remember to always add your pasta, cooked, to the end of any crock pot dish unless otherwise instructed.

After all adjustments were made, I was pretty pleased with the end result. I didn’t need to add any salt, but I generally don’t cook with much anyway. I added about a 1/2 teaspoon of pepper though, and that was tasty. So, whether you want to try the apple soup version or this version, I hope you enjoy this awesome soup, no matter the weather!

1 lb Great Northern beans, rehydrated*
1 large Onion, chopped
2 stalks Celery, chopped
1 large Apple, chopped
Heaping 1/4 tsp Thyme, dried
1 pinch Sage, dried
1/2 clove Garlic, chopped
1, 12 oz package Chicken and apple sausage
8 cups Chicken or vegetable broth
1 bunch Kale, chopped into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

*There are a couple of ways to rehydrate beans. The first is to soak them overnight in a covered bowl of water. The second is to boil them in a pot of water and then let them sit, covered, for an hour. Strain them before using them and, if you want, save the water (aquafaba) to use as an egg substitute!

Add beans, onion, celery, thyme, sage, garlic, and sausage to the crock pot. Add in the broth while stirring gently to combing everything. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. About 15-20 minutes before you’re ready to serve, toss in the kale, apple bits, and vinegar before re-covering the pot. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve either alone or with fresh hard bread.

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