super day for soup for supper

At this point, I am hoping for amazing May flowers, because the “wintry mix” weather we’ve been having with only a few, scattered, warm days is really becoming quite tiresome.

However, this cold spring weather does mean that making a big batch of soup is a welcome source of sustenance throughout the week. No longer in the mood for thick tomato soups, I was delighted to come across a recipe for a  Tuscan-style cabbage stew with sausage and beans. I couldn’t verify if this recipe is in any way authentic Italian (it probably would be a little more Tuscan with dinosaur kale instead of savoy cabbage) so let’s just go with Tuscan-style, for now.

But, I was eager to use the savoy cabbage that the recipe called for, which I had been eyeing at Whole Foods because of its beautiful, crinkly leaves.

I also figured that it would be a good time to use up some parmesan rinds. Do you toss yours out? With all the pasta we eat, we go through parmesan pretty quickly, but we try to save the rinds for occasions like this, where they soften in broth and give off rich, parmesan flavor.

This soup comes together pretty fast. The white wine gives it a little crispness, and while I wouldn’t serve this in the dead-heat of summer, it makes for a lovely meal on a chilly or rainy spring day. It’s easy to make vegetarian, too–just leave out the sausage and add more beans.


Cabbage & Sausage Soup (serves six to eight)


2 sweet Italian sausages, removed from casing

1 large onion (small slices)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1.5 cups white wine

1 can of beans (cannellini preferred) (about 12 oz)

4 cups of stock (and about 4 cups water)

2 bay leaves

2-3 parmesan rinds or a cup of grated cheese if you don’t save yours (can also use pecorino)

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt & pepper to taste



1) Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the uncased sausage, breaking it up as it starts to cook. Brown it on all sides and remove. As it’s cooking, cut up the onion.

2) When the sausage is well browned, remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon and add the onions. Saute over medium-low heat until they are just hinting that they may begin to brown soon.

3) Add the minced garlic and cook another couple minutes.

4) Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping the bottom for any good brown bits.

5) Add the beans and bring to a boil. While you’re waiting, chop up the savoy cabbage. It’s easiest to do this by discarding the outermost leaves, then chopping it into quarters along the meridian. Discard the thick white core/stem and then slice (easier done than said!).

6) Add everything left to the pot (stock, cabbage, salt and pepper, bay leaves, sausage, cheese). Also add enough water to nearly cover. Bring to a boil, uncovered, then let it simmer, covered, for about a half hour. Below is the “before.”

Gosh. Now that I’m looking at it I want it again…

This is ridiculously simple to make. And having just braved a twenty minute walk in frigid rain to get home from the gym, I’m very sad that we’ve eaten all the leftovers!



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