The Healthy Librarian's Enlightened Cajun Kale "Spicy Sausage" & Rice Soup
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I found this recipe hiding in a magazine at my hair salon.
On Tuesday I got my hair cut & colored (don't judge!), and while I waited for Michelle to mix up my "hair coloring", I started leafing through the January issue of O (Oprah) Magazine. The cover pitched recipes for "Healthy Hearty Soups". "OK. Let's check 'em out," I thought.
Well, they weren't exactly up to my "health" standards--filled with ingredients like beef, oil, salmon, chicken broth, or coconut milk.
But, two of these soups had "great bones"--and I knew I could easily "enlighten" them to fit my plant-based, no-added oil specifications.
So, on Thursday, I did the grocery shopping and picked up all the fixings to test out these two O Magazine soups. As I put the groceries away, my husband graciously offered to whip up soup recipe #1: the Cajun Kale with "Spicy Sausage & Rice.
When we took our first tastes, we both looked at each other and simultaneously said, "Whoa! This just might be one of the best soups I've ever tasted!"
OK--you know I can sometimes get overly enthusiastic, but, honestly, if you like a little spice, and are a fan of Cajun flavors--I just know you are going to love this easy-to-prepare nutritious powerhouse of a soup.
But, soup may be a misnomer. This is so thick, it's more like a stew. Definitely, a one dish meal. Add a salad, and you'll be set for the evening.
I had to work on Saturday, so I brought in a giant bowl of leftover Cajun Kale Soup for lunch.
I was working with Dee--so I offered her a sample.
Now, you have to understand--Dee is not a fan of health food, or many of my plant-based creations. This girl is picky.
She's 100% Paula Deen style-cooking & taste preferences. But, I just wanted to see what she thought of this soup.
And, she LOVED IT! She wanted the recipe on-the-spot---and was ready to head right on over to Whole Foods after work to get a package of Field Roast Mexican Chipotle so she could make the soup on Sunday.
See what I mean. I told you it was good. It passed the Dee Test! And she's a hard grader!
PS: I plan to "recipe-test" O Magazine's Soup #2 on Tuesday. It looks AMAZING. Stay tuned.
The Healthy Librarian's Enlightened Cajun Kale "Spicy Sausage" & Rice Soup
This just might be one of my new all-time-favorites! A perfect mix of spicy flavors and textures--and it's chock full of nutrition!
It's a meal in a bowl--a thick soup, that's really more like a stew.
Click here to get the recipe on one page.
Serves: 6 generously
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
- 6 cups of packed kale (curly or lacinato--I used lacinato) Stem the kale, remove the ribs, & chop
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 large celery rib, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded & chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
- 2 links of Field Roast Mexican Chipotle thinly sliced (or substitute gluten-free TJ's Soy Chorizo sausage Note: I've never tasted TJ's)
- 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 (15 ounce) can of Muir Glen Fire-Roasted chopped of diced tomatoes, juice included
- 4 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar or maple syrup (optional) I used it & I think it added a nice balance.
- 4 cups of prepared brown rice (I microwaved Trader Joe's/ aka Rice Expressions frozen cooked brown rice. 2 pouches=4 cups)
1. Bring 10 cups of water to boil in a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot Add kale and boil for 5 minutes. Drain in colander and set aside. NOTE: These were the directions my husband followed--but next time, I would just add the chopped up kale to the saute mixture--or add it to the liquid & let it cook that way. Boiling seems unnecessary.
2. Preheat the soup pot on medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and celery and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding a small amount of extra broth or water if the vegetables begin to get too dry or start sticking to the pan. Cover pot & cook for another 3-5 minutes until the vegetables are tender and translucent. Halfway through, stir the vegetables, & add just a little broth or water if they are getting dry or sticking to the pot. Once the onions & celery are translucent, add the garlic, peppers, & sausage, and cook until the peppers soften--about 5 minutes. Mix in thyme and allspice, stir, and cook 1 more minute.
3. Add tomatoes, broth, cooked, kale, and black pepper. Bring to a boi, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, until greens are almost tender, 20 minutes. Add salt to taste, and agave or maple syrup. (If freezing the soup, stop here and add the rice after defrosting)
4. If serving immediately, add rice and continue to simmer soup, uncovered, until the kale is tender, about 10 to 15 more minutes.
Freeze for up to 2 months.
Cajun Kale Soup with Chipotle Field Roast & Rice
Serving Size: 1 serving
|Amount Per Serving|
The recipe comes from Healthy Girl's Kitchen, and uses convenience ingredients like TJ's vacuum packed French Lentils, canned (but not sweetened) sweet potatoes, & frozen peas.
I thought it could use a little punch in the spice department (but, that's just me)--and it turns out that Penzey's new Salt-Free seasoning, Forward, adds just the right punch, to kick this Farmer's Pie up a notch! I sprinkled it on my own serving--not into the pie.
Find the recipe for Jill's Farmer's Pie here But I highly recommend you increase the recipe by 1/3 so it fits a 9 x 13 pan, and you'll have plenty of leftovers.
- Special extra bold black pepper
- Spice extractives (including oleoresin of celery, rosemary, black pepper, thyme, basil, paprika)
Robin Robertson's Roasted Vegetables with Luscious Lemon-Cannelini Sauce
This is a Gorgeous Nutritious Delicious Combination of Roasted Vegetables
Butternut Squash, Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes, Chopped Onions, Carrots, & Brussel Sprouts
We enjoyed this for dinner one night, along with a big salad, and there were plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day. This is definitely a "keeper recipe".
Imagine a warm sauce made from cannelini beans, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, & herbs. Crazy, huh? That's why Robin Robertson is one of my favorite recipe "designers". This lady is creative, with a great sense for what tastes good.
I highly recommend this easy-to-do sophisticated no-oil vegetable dish.
Find the recipe here. Just leave out the oil. I did spray the vegetables very lightly with Spectrum's High Heat Canola spray, but you can certainly skip it.
Want to Make It a "Dinner & a Movie Night"!
Here's what I can recommend.
1. Departures. This won the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film for 2008. I don't want to say too much--lest I spoil the surprise of your own discovery. My husband & I both put this on our list of the top 10 best films we've ever seen. Unlike anything I've ever seen. On Sunday night, our book club will be watching this for a "Dinner & a Movie Night".
2. Paul. This one was a big surprise. A warm, sweet, goofy, hilarious, irreverant film that feels like ET for grown-ups. It's all about friendship and loyalty. Sexual language, some drug-use, & religious commentary that some might find offensive--so click on the link & read the review first.
3. Want some recommendations for some "Movies for Grown-Ups" that you might not have thought of? Check out Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat's List of the Most Spiritually Literate Films of 2011. That's how I discovered, Paul. I always check with Frederic & Mary Ann whenever I add films to my Netflix queue.
6. The Way. One of my favorites.