Sausage and Cannellini Bean Soup Recipe

Post by Jeran of Oleander and Palm

Do you need a quick dinner idea that can be made in about 20 minutes?  This hearty and healthy soup is perfect for busy, cold weather days.

I love chicken sausage, I have a favorite one that I get at my local grocery store. It has spinach, feta and fennel in it. But, this recipe would work well with regular Italian sausage as well.

Sausage and Cannellini Bean Soup Recipe

I also love cooked leafy greens. Spinach, kale, beat greens, or Swiss chard, I can’t get get enough of them. I’ve shared that I grew up in Papua New Guinea. They cook all kinds of greens there, even the leaves of pumpkins, which are kind of furry. So when I get a chance, I throw spinach into everything. Plus it’s sooo good for you.  I really think that my body craves green veggies. I really feel better when I eat them.

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Sausage and White Bean Soup Recipe
5-6 links of Chicken Sausage (or Italian Sausage of any kind)
1 onion finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 cans of white cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
3 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of water or milk (for a creamier soup)
1 bag of washed baby spinach
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes (or as spicy as you’d like)
salt and pepper to taste

Remove the sausages from their casings.  In a large saucepan, cook the sausage completely, breaking apart with a wooden spoon as it cooks.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent.  Add the beans, stock and water.  Bring to a boil, season to taste.  Just before serving add the spinach and cook until it just wilts.

Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
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Post by Jeran of Oleander and Palm

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Quinoa Salsa

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I like winter in limited amounts. I love the look of fluffy snow on fields, kids throwing snowballs and toboganing down a hill. I also love taking a  nice walk in the snowy woods on a cold sunny day, as long as I’m dressed properly. But – and this is a big but, I will always choose summer over winter, sand over snow, shorts over snow pants. So these past couple of weeks have been challenging – this is not the fun, let’s play out in the snow winter. This is the deep freeze, hard as rock snow banks and dangerous walking conditions kind of winter. The coldest winter in 10 years  – and I don’t like it!

To counteract the January winter blahs, I decided to make a colourful and vitamin rich soup. Roasted Red Pepper soup with some added bulk and protein from a delicious quinoa/avocado salsa. This meal is healthy, satisfying, warms you up and a adds a bit of colour to a dreary day.  Doesn’t this pop of red make you happy?

Roasting the peppers is a little tedious, so next time I’d double the recipe to make the effort worth it. This soup warmed up really well, perfect to take with you to work. Now, off to scrape some more ice off my walkway.

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Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Quinoa Salsa – from Meatless Cookbook

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 red bell peppers, roasted and quartered
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock
  • coarse salt
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, diced
  • 1 firm, ripe avocado, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add yellow onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender – 6-8 minutes. Add roasted peppers and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Let cool slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth, being careful not to fill jar more than halfway. Reheat after blending and season genereously with salt.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together quinoa, red onion, avocado and cilantro. Season with salt. To serve, divide soup among 4 bowls, top with quinoa salsa, and squeeze with lime.

Notes

Roast your peppers by putting them on the BBQ or direct flame of your gas stove. Keep turning until skins are charred. Let cool in a covered bowl and peel off charred skin.

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Post by Giulia Doyle : Audrey's

Cheesy Leek Tart

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One of my favourite things as a child were little leek tarts that you could buy frozen at the grocery store. They were small individual round tarts that my mom made along with cheese tarts and sometimes mushroom tarts. I don’t know where my love for leek comes from – I think the only time we ate leek at our home was in these tarts.

I believe the tarts I grew up with were a little more cream based with a larger percentage of leeks. This version is a combination of my love of cheese tarts and leek tarts – nothing is more comforting on a cool evening. Serve it with a green salad and you have a substantial meal. The tart warms up nicely in the oven as well if you have leftovers or want to bring it to a potluck.

To this day I will make the frozen tarts when I visit Switzerland – some things are best the way you remember having them as a child. What food do you associate with your childhood?

Ingredients

  • CRUST:
  • 150g of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 75g cold butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons of cold water
  • FILLING:
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 stalks of leek, washed and cut into slices
  • 1-2 tablespoons of flour
  • 200 ml of milk (almost a full cup)
  • 200 g of grated cheese (Gruyère and/or Emmenthal) (almost 2 cups)
  • 3 eggs
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg

Instructions

  1. CRUST:
  2. Combine flour and salt. Cut cold butter into flakes and add carefully to flour mixture. Combine carefully until you achieve pea size crumbles. Add cold water and combine dough quickly. I use my mixer to make my crust so I avoid touching the cold butter. I seem to achieve better results by not handling the mixture with my hands. Let stand covered about 30 minutes in the fridge.
  3. FILLING:
  4. While dough is cooling, heat butter in a pan and add leek. Cook a couple of minutes until soft. Drain as much grease off as you can.
  5. Mix flour and milk. Add grated cheese and cooked leek. Mix in eggs and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Combine well.
  6. Once dough is cooled, roll out dough on a floured surface, to 1/4 inch thickness. Pour filling on tart crust and bake immediately.
  7. Bake at 250C (480F) in the bottom half of oven for 20 minutes

Notes

Start with one tablespoon of flour in your cheese and milk mixture. If you feel it's too liquid feel free to add a second spoon to thicken things up a bit.

If you are worried that your pastry won't cook through at the bottom, feel free to pre-bake it a few minutes ahead of filling. If you do that make sure to cover your tart with a bit of foil for the first 15 minutes of baking and then remove foil in the last 5 minutes to brown the cheese.

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Post by Giulia Doyle : Audrey's

Roasted Beets and Carrots with Tahini Lemon Dressing

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I received a huge amount of beets over the past couple of weeks in my CSA, and I’m the only one in the family that likes beets. With this slight dilemma I tried to find a way to use a large amount of them in one meal. I decided to roast my beets and serve them with this great dressing inspired by Love and Lemons. I also added a big bunch of carrots to the mix and finished it off with some crumbled feta and sunflower seeds.

This combination turned out beautifully – even my non-beet loving husband had a second serving. We enjoyed it with roast chicken, but any protein would work well with this.

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Roasted Beets and Carrots with Tahini Lemon Dressing

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: makes a lot!

Ingredients

  • 6-8 beets (depending on size)
  • 6-8 carrots
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • handful of sunflower seeds
  • handful of crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 teaspoons of maple syrup
  • 4-6 tablespoons water or olive oil (or a combination)
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Chop vegetables into even sized pieces. Arrange in roasting pan, add garlic cloves and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast vegetables and garlic at 400F for 1-1.5 hours. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Check that both beets and carrots are soft all the way through.
  2. Combine lemon juice, tahini and maple syrup. Adjust with water and olive oil until you get the consistency you like. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss roasted vegetables with tahini lemon dressing, sprinkle with sunflower seeds and cheese and serve at room temperature.

Notes

You can speed up your roasting time by covering the vegetables with foil and increasing the heat to 450F. You would probably be done in 1 hour depending on the size you cut your vegetables.

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Post by Giulia Doyle : Audrey's