Sausage and White Bean Soup – Or, how not to make delicious soup.

05 Sep

I love green fresh things.
I just like to rinse them off and look at them with their little droplets of water hugging the leaves.
Today I am attempting something new – I have never made anything with Broccoli Rabe, lets see if I’ve botched it.
(Uh, yeah… make sure you read the entire thing….)

I need more knives. I have several, but this one is my absolute favorite because it cuts through just about anything like butter. I don’t remember who makes it, I could probably go look but… well honestly I don’t want to get up at the moment. I am not feeling so well today. Thing is though, it isn’t so great at chopping and fancy knife work, because it was truly destined to be a bread knife, its not really meant for chopping and mincing and rocking back and forth through allthethings.   But I love it, and I cant find my sharpthingssharpening implement of doom, so… there you go.

  1 Pound Sweet Italian Sausage
1 bunch of Broccoli Rabe Greens  – roughly chopped
1 Large Onion – Chopped
2 Large Potatoes – quartered and sliced
2-3 Cloves of Garlic – finely chopped
3 Carrots – Sliced
2-3 sprigs of  Fresh Thyme
2 cans of white navy beans – rinsed
8-9 cups of Chicken Stock
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil
1-2 tbsp. Butter (if needed)

Oil up your pan just a little and toss in Sausage until its lovely, browned, and the fat has rendered. Set aside.
If your sausage was strangely light on the fat like mine was today, toss a little oil into the pan, with a smidge of butter and saute your onions until they *just* begin to go translucent. Add in your garlic, potatoes and carrots – stir and let them cook for a few minutes while you fiddle around in the kitchen.

Toss in your rabe and beans, the bay leaf and strip your thyme sprigs.  Try really hard not to drop the stems in, wind up doing so anyway, and fish them out.
Carefully sprinkle in your cayenne, salt and pepper.
Stir, Stir, Stir.
Get distracted by the pretty colors and pour in your chicken stock.

Stir more.
Leave to simmer for a while.
Come back to skim the soup and learn that Broccoli Rabe is very bitter and you should have blanched it in salty water all by itself first.

Attempt to fix the soup by adding:
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
2 tbsp. Honey

Attack soup with your immersion blender after fishing out the bay leaves, and realize that your lovely soup is now horrifyingly looking a bit like watery henna. With Chunks.

Bitter. Chunky.  Fail.

Turn the heat off and walk away, distracted with thoughts of henna and wincing inwardly at the amount of money you have wasted on what was supposed to be a great experiment. Occasionally, come back to the kitchen and poke at your bag of frozen henna, and the hot pot of soup. Decide next time to leave the Broccoli Rabe -OUT-.

The Verdict:  While the soup cooled, something -happened- in there. The soup, still not very attractive- is far less bitter. It isn’t bad, but it is not something I will be lusting after later on. Next time – I wont use Broccoli Rabe. Next time, I will use my potato masher to smash the beans rather than the immersion blender. Oi.

YOU might like this if you like Cilantro, actually.  The bitterness I am tasting is very Cilantro like (To me. I am one of those people who only tastes DISH SOAP when I encounter Cilantro. This is not that strong, but its enough to annoy me.)


Posted by on September 5, 2011 in FAIL, Soup


4 responses to “Sausage and White Bean Soup – Or, how not to make delicious soup.

  1. Amy K (@ubergrun)

    September 5, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Potato mashers are good for smashing softened ingredients into smaller bitses without losing too much texture. I reserve my immersion blender for sauces and bisque-like soups — I suppose one could take just a portion of the soup and blend that to smooth consistency, then add back in with the rest of the soup that’s just been gently mashed, if one wanted to have both bisquey smoothness and some chunky texture, but it’s generally not a great idea for *me* to sling soup around because that’s just a burn injury begging to happen.

    • saiyge

      September 6, 2011 at 3:46 am

      See, I looked back and was like… why *did* I use the blender? And then I think I remember. A spider was involved. It was in the cabinet. I swear you put me in the kitchen and its like a bloody sitcom. If spiders are involved, its like what small fragments of mind I have left suddenly run screaming with their arms akimbo.

      I know at that point too I thought the soup was pretty much a lost cause. The fact that I blogged the whole mess is the interesting part, I think most food bloggers are content to only post allthefabulous things and not so much the disasters. \o/

  2. Christa

    September 6, 2011 at 3:32 am

    I have a recipe that is similar but uses a bag of baby spinach in place of the b-rabe, but with no potato. Just top with some grated parm.

    • saiyge

      September 6, 2011 at 3:46 am

      Yeah, I think that’s the one I really wanted to be using. No more Rabe for me. Ever.


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