Soup with Sausage, Silverbeet (Chard) and White Beans.

30 Aug

Soup soup soup! French onion soup is such a special dish. So nice to have your recipe for it B.

This recipe is a soup my family have been making a bit of recently… it is hearty and wintry, and special enough to serve as a meal for weeknight guests.

I buy sausages made by our local butcher made with pork, fennel and chilli, they flavour up the entire soup beautifully. I would think that any good quality sausages will work well. Here in Australia we call this leafy vegetable ‘silverbeet’, but I understand it is simply ‘chard’ in the USA. I have made it to our new house finally (yay!) and I thought it fitting for the first meal I cooked to be this soup.

I am not sure if you collect Parmesan rinds, but this is a great way to use them. You don’t eat the rind, you remove it from the soup before eating, but it imparts a flavour through the soup as it cooks. So don’t throw them away… keep them in the fridge for dishes like this.

Here is what you will need:

Sausages, cannellini beans, garlic, rosemary, onion, carrot, celery, silverbeet (chard), olive oil, pepper, and a dash of vinegar. Possibly salt too, but taste before adding any. Also, some chicken stock, tomato paste and the rind of some Parmesan, which missed the photo shoot. Must have been still getting their hair done.

I started by tearing the casing off the sausages and rolling small meatballs from the filling.

I heated up a little olive oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot, and then added the meatballs to brown over medium heat.

While they were cooking I chopped up some onion, carrot and celery, the classic trio, and then added them along with some chopped rosemary to the browned meatballs. I left them to cook and absorb all of the flavour the sausage had given to the oil.

While that was cooking away I prepared everything else. I minced garlic, then washed and drained the canned beans. I removed the stem from the silverbeet, which is hard to take a photo of without a tripod, but I hold it by the stem, and then run the knife downward along the edges of the stem. It is easier than it looks. I then washed it well and sliced it up roughly.

When I was happy that the onion was transparent, I added tomato paste and the minced garlic to the pot, and let that cook for about a minute before adding in the stock, silverbeet, Parmesan rind and beans. My pot overfloweth!

I put the lid on, opening it up to stir from time to time. As the silverbeet cooks down it starts to resemble soup. I think I needed to chop my silverbeet a bit finer than this. So use this as a guide for a bit large, OK?

I simmered the soup for about twenty minutes, just prior to serving I added a dash of vinegar. This gives a nice acid balance.

Lovely vibrant colours and flavour to match. I removed the rind, added a grind of black pepper and it was ready to go.

I am glad to have documented this recipe… as I will be returning to make it myself, over and over.

Over to you B… are you in a soupy mood?


serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
250g (1/2 pound) sausage. I used pork, fennel and chilli, but any good fresh italian sausage would work. Remove casings and roll in to small meatballs
1 brown onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 garlic cloves finely chopped, crushed or grated
1 large bunch silverbeet
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed well and drained
1 litre (1 quart) chicken stock
1 Parmesan rind (if you have one handy)
1 generous tablespoon cider vinegar
Pepper and possibly salt, to taste

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Brown the meat balls, for around 8 minutes, before adding the onion, carrot, celery and rosemary. Continue to cook, stirring frequently for around 10 minutes or until the onion is transparent.

Add the tomato paste and garlic, stir for a minute then add the stock, silverbeet, beans and Parmesan rind. With the lid on, cook for 20 minutes over medium low heat, stirring from time to time. Remove the rind before serving, and season with the vinegar plus a little salt and pepper to taste. Serve. Eat. Say “yum”.

2 Responses to “Soup with Sausage, Silverbeet (Chard) and White Beans.”

  1. Rachel 30/08/2012 at 10:49 am #

    This looks so good! It reminds me of a white bean and kale soup I make all winter long (yours is a bit more sophisticated). I love the idea of making little meatballs out of the sausage too, totally stealing that. And I love that you use the rind for the broth. It’s my super-secret soup weapon.

    • Alice 30/08/2012 at 4:59 pm #

      Hi Rachel, thank you. It was based on a soup that was originally with kale, so you have been making this! I still find kale a little daunting, but I know it is insanely good for you. It is brilliant that you can have parmesan rinds sitting in the fridge for what seems forever, and they are still perfect for cooking with. I will now see them as ‘weapons’ sitting in wait.

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