The Perfect Rainy-Day Dinner: Kielbasa, Kale and White Bean Soup

Comfort food at its finest.

Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

Kielbasa: At the mere mention, many of us experience visible excitement. That said, sitting down to a big plate of grilled kielbasa for dinner at night probably wouldn’t help us be well, Philly — but there’s no need to omit this flavor powerhouse from our diets altogether. Though I use the turkey variety to keep the calories and fat in check, the flavor is all there. If you choose to use the classic, every ingredient and direction remains the same.

We enjoy soups in the fall as the weather turns crispy, but we fill the bowls in late winter for a slightly different reason: Spring break is looming and bathing suit season’s on deck. That’s where this soup comes in: It’s comforting on a rainy day like this one — and also bikini-friendly.

Recipe: Kielbasa, Kale and White Bean Soup
Serves 10

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, or 2 small, diced
4 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
12 c. chicken broth
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
3-4 inch Parmesan rind*
26 oz. turkey kielbasa, sliced into half moons
1 can (15 oz) small white beans (navy beans), drained and rinsed
1 bunch kale, stemmed and torn or chopped into bite size
Parmesan cheese, for serving

*Parmesan rind is what you get when you buy the triangle of parmesan cheese and then grate it as you need it. When all that’s left is the rind, you put it in a ziplock bag and freeze it. See photo below. Then, you use it to flavor soup. If you do not have a Parmesan rind on the ready, just omit this ingredient. 

1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat.

2. Add onion, carrot, celery, salt and crushed red pepper. Saute until softened, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes with their juices and scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir to combine.

4. Add broth, thyme and Parmesan rind and increase heat to high. Heat until boiling, then reduce heat to medium.

5. Add kielbasa, beans and kale and simmer until kale is tender, about five minutes. Remove Parmesan rind and thyme stems. Serve, topped with cheese.

Per serving: 284 calories, 8.9 fat grams, 1551 milligrams sodium, 1134 milligrams potassium, 28.6 grams carbs, 6.7 grams dietary fiber, 6.8 grams sugar, 26.1 grams protein.


Becca Boyd is a wife and mom who creates healthy and delicious recipes in her West Chester kitchen. She blogs about them on her website, Home Beccanomics.

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