It's a Keeper: Sausage, Beans, and Broccoli Rabe Soup

You know how you get to that stage in life when everyone you know is getting married? I've moved past that stage and am now in the stage where everyone I know is having a baby.

My dear friend Kate (the one who always publishes posts for me when I'm on vacay) just had her first child, a baby boy. He is so darn cute, but Kate was pretty exhausted after her first week of waking up all night.

To help her out a little, I volunteered to make some soup that would last them for at least a couple days. Of the options I gave her, she picked Rachael Ray's Sausage, Beans, and Broccoli Rabe Soup. I wish the picture did it justice, but that pic was better than the one in the tupperware, so what could I do?

As you can see from how short the recipe is, this one is easily a 30-minute meal. It's the good old chop and drop. Take your Rachael Ray-regulation-sized cutting board and stand right next to the pot on the stove. As you chop the veggies, drop them in the pot. This saves time and energy! Here's the recipe with my comments in brackets:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
1 1/4 pounds Italian bulk sweet sausage [It only comes in one pound packages in my store, but it seems like that's enough.]
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and chopped into small dice
2 cloves garlic, chopped [I can't ever put two cloves of garlic in anything. I used 4.]
1 bay leaf
2 cans white beans, drained
Salt and pepper
4 cups chopped broccoli rabe and greens [No broccoli rabe in my store, so I substituted kale.]
2 quarts chicken stock
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, to pass at table

Heat medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and sausage and brown. Add veggies, bay leaf and beans. Season with salt and pepper. Cook mixture 5 minutes to begin to soften the vegetables. Add rabe and wilt. Add stock and cover pot. Raise heat and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve soup with grated cheese, for topping [don't skimp on the cheese, it's worth it!].

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