Red Kale Cannellini Beans and Chorizo Soup

Red Kale Cannellini Beans and Chorizo

When the suns behind the winter clouds and not able to warm your skin, the next best thing is Red Kale Cannellini Beans and Chorizo Soup.

The cannellini beans or white beans are also known as white Italian kidney beans. The skin of the white kidney beans are much thinner and more delicate than their red cousins. White beans also have a smooth, but slightly nutty tasting interior.

Concerned about your daily fiber in take? A half cup serving of cooked cannellini beans are a excellent source of dietary fiber, providing you with 7 grams of your 30 grams of fiber needed daily for good health.

Here is what you will need for this simple and nutritious Red Kale Cannellini Beans and Chorizo Soup.

Our ingredients are all organic grown and harvested and pasture fed meat.

red kale2 tablespoons avocado oil

12 ounces pork chorizo sausage, 1-inch slices

1 medium red onion, diced

3 gloves garlic, minced

1 medium purple carrot, diced

1 rib celery, diced

4 cups chicken stock

2 15 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt optional

4 cups red kale, stemmed and leaves torn

spooning from the sauce pot - Red Kale Cannellini Beans and ChorizoOver medium heat, add oil to a large sauce pot. Once heated add meat and brown. Next add onions, and garlic. Stir until garlic and onion is just browned about 1 minute.

Next add diced carrots and celery, and stir until you see the vegetables brighten in color, about 2 minutes. Next add chicken broth, beans and salt.

a large sauce pot of Red Kale Cannellini Beans and ChorizoBring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, and add kale, then stir in. Place lid on pot, and on simmer let soup cook another 5 minutes.

Red Kale Cannellini Beans and Chorizo - close upTo thicken the soup a little, as we did not use potatoes (their starch content will thicken soups), you can add some arrowroot starch. In a small glass add 1 tablespoon of starch and stir in a teaspoon of fresh water, and add when soup is boiling. When soup has thickened some, lower heat to a simmer. Add kale and stir in, then place lid on soup pot and let cook another 5 minutes.

Red Kale Cannellini Beans and Chorizo

According to Mangia Bene Pasta, the Cannellini beans are difficult to harvest when ripe and therefore are harvested in the fall when the pod is completely dry.  As a result, the beans are rarely eaten fresh.

In some parts of Italy, the beans are a popular accompaniment to tuna and pasta dishes containing poultry. In the United States, vegetarians often utilize the hearty beans as a fish or chicken substitute, due to its protein source (WiseGeek).

The dried beans double in size when soaked, so a few beans go a long way in a dish.  Cannellini beans are available in supermarkets in both dried and canned form. If cannellini beans are unavailable, great northern beans or navy beans can be used, though they are a much smaller bean.

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Orecchiette with Chorizo and Chickpeas

Orecchiette with Chorizo and ChickpeasThe first time we used pasta Orecchiette was around 2009. We had seen a recipe in a food magazine using the pasta, so to the store we went. We had a hard time finding it, but our local co-op (sell’s all natural – organic foods) had the pasta. When we described the pasta (as we had forgotten the name) the sales lady new right away what we wanted. She referred to the pasta as little pope hats. Ever since Orechiette has become a staple in our pantry.

About.com talks on Italian food and describes Orechiette as a distinctive Puglian type of pasta shaped roughly like small ears, as orecchio in Italian means eat, and Orecchiette means little ears. The pasta is roughly 3/4 of an inch across, slightly domed, and the centers are thinner than the rim of the pasta. The pastas texture is soft in the middle and more chewy along the rim or outside of the pasta.

Barilla (store brand that sells Italian products) says that Orecchiette is the signature pasta of Puglia, describing Puglia as a humble farming land situated along the southeastern coast of Italy.

Here is a video posted to You-Tube of Italian women in Italy making fresh Orechiette pasta.
Now for our featured recipe: Orecchiette with Chorizo and Chickpeas, and here is what you will need.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 small shallots, chopped

3/4 pound fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups chicken broth

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed

12 ounces Orecchiette

Garnishes:

Fresh chopped cilantro or parsley

Finely grated Parmesan and lemon zest

cooking Mexican chorizoHeat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute, stirring often, until beginning to brown and smell fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add chorizo to pan and break up with a spoon, and cook meat until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.

adding chickpeas to meat sauceNext add tomato paste and red pepper flakes to meat mixture and mix in. Next add the broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened a bit, about 15-20 minutes. Next add the can of chickpeas, and mix in, cooking 2 minutes more to heat the chickpeas through.

adding orechiette to meat sauceMeanwhile, cook pasta according to packaged instructions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.

Next add the pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to meat sauce. Continue to cook until sauce thickens and coats pasta, about 3 minutes. Add the pasta liquid as needed. You might use the whole cup, and possibly less.

Orecchiette with Chorizo and Chickpeas in the panServe pasta topped with cilantro or parsley (your choice), Parmesan, and lemon zest.

Orecchiette with Chorizo and ChickpeasWe have had this for left overs a few times, and each time we add cilantro, cheese, and lemon zest. The zest adds great flavor to this dish. Be sure to use it.

For the side salad using candy cane beets, see our recipe here: Shredded Candy Cane and Green Apple Slaw with Pecans.

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Basil Pesto Linguine

Basil Pesto Linguine - plated

This recipe uses an Andouille sausage, which has its origins in Brittany, France. It is a smoked meat using pork. It is a sausage that is used in the Louisiana Creole culture. It is a sausage much like the Mexican or Spanish chorizo, as some Andouille sausage makers also use the gastrointestinal system of the pig,

Andouille is made from smoked pork, garlic, pepper, onions, wine, and seasonings. Most Andouille is made from a Boston Butt roast. The sausage is doubled smoked, as once the casing is stuffed, it is smoked again. Andouille is not a high fat sausage, with lots of pepper flavor, though it has a slight heat to it.

We used an all organic Andouille, fresh stuffed casing, purchased at our local Whole Foods Market. Let’s get started with preparing our featured recipe: Basil Pesto Linguine and here is what you will need.

16 ounces of cooked linguine

1 lb. of chicken breasts, about 2, skinless and boneless

2 Andouille sausage links, about ½ pounds

½ cup fresh basil pesto (link here for recipe – History of Pesto Sauce)

15 cherry tomatoes (about), sliced in half to measure 1 cup

Cook linguine according to package instructions.

Meantime, slice chicken breasts horizontally 2 to 3 times, depending on thickness of the breast meat. Cut slices into 1-inch chunks, set aside.

cooking andouille sausage

Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of avocado oil. Next slice links down the middle and remove meat and place into pan and start moving meat around with a spatula, so meat falls apart into small chunks.

sausage, chicken meat with basil pesto

Now add chicken, and continue to cook, until both meats are cooked, and chicken is no longer pink, but oblique. Next add basil and mix in.

meats and cheery tomatoes

Now add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes skins start to wrinkle, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Basil Pesto Linguine - close up

Add cooked linguine and mix meat and pasta together.

Basil Pesto Linguine - plated

Place pasta onto a serving platter, then plate and serve.

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Spicy Chorizo and Bean Soup

Spicy Chorizo and Bean Soup

When we were living down in Mexico, I learned to love chorizo. That was a time before we all knew what processed foods were really doing to us. But since a few years ago, we have learned to eat healthy, and we really try to walk that road. Though you can splurge a little now and again. That piece of so wanted “Double Fudge Cake” is okay to eat.

The point I guess I am trying to make, is chorizo isn’t really good for you. It’s really overly greasy, and a heart attack waiting to happen. But today we splurged, we had been saving up, and the chorizo was our piece of “Double Fudge Cake.”

There can be some good to say about that chorizo though, and here it is.

The Mexican style chorizo in this soup provides 24.1 grams of protein per 3.5 ounce serving, and because chorizo is made from animal sources — beef and pork — it contributes essential amino acids required for tissue repair and food breakdown. One serving of chorizo sausage (3.5 oz.) contains 0.6 mg of thiamine, or vitamin B-1. The thiamine in this food allows your body to more effectively use certain amino acids, and it helps convert food to energy.

To boost your intake of this vitamin even more, serve chorizo with a side of lentils, pinto beans or black beans. The 3.5 oz. serving of chorizo also has 2 mcg of vitamin B-12, a nutrient that plays an important role in nerve function.  A serving of chorizo contains 21.1 mcg of selenium, a significant portion of the suggested intake of 55 mcg per day. The selenium available in the sausage creates antioxidants, which ward off damage often triggered by free radicals.

Here is what you will need to prepare the soup that is very nutritious and sure to warm your insides:

ingredients for Spicy Chorizo and Bean Soup

1 large white onion, finely sliced

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp. of smoked paprika

2 celery stalks, cut into fine slices

2 roman tomatoes, quartered and cut into chunks

1-16 oz. can pinto beans, drained

Black pepper

4 cups chicken stock

½ lb. beef chorizo, torn into small chunks

2 tbsp. of olive oil

chopped tomatoes, onion, celery and garlic

First dice the onions and celery. Then quarter and chop the tomatoes, and mince garlic. Set all of that aside.

pulling apart beef chorizo with hands

Remove the casing from the chorizo and pull it apart into small pieces.

frying beef chorizo

In a medium stock pot over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil. When heated, add chorizo and fry until crisp about 2 to 4 minutes.

soaking up fat from chorizo

Using a slotted spoon, spoon out chorizo onto a paper towel lined plate, and set aside.

adding tomatoes

Lower the heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat. Now add the chopped onion, and celery. Fry while stirring until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Next add chopped garlic and smoked paprika and mix in well, frying another 1 to 2 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and mix in well.Fry for another minute.

adding beef broth

Next add the beef stock and chorizo. Bring to a boil, turn heat down, and simmer for 10 minutes.

adding pinto beans

Next add drained pinto beans, and cook for about 5 minutes.

Serve warm in soup bowls and spoon sour cream on top and sprinkled with chopped cilantro.

What’s your favorite not so healthy food to splurge with now and again?

 

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