One of the things I love most about being a part of 37 Cooks (besides the great friends I've made) is the opportunity to cook with some wonderful products, and this challenge did not disappoint! When the generous folks at Bilinski's sent each of us a package of their Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage, I knew immediately that I wanted to incorporate it into a warm, cozy and healthy soup. I don't normally cook with a lot of sausage because it can be so rich and heavy. I can say without hesitation that I really loved Bilinski's sausage. It was mild, yet so full of great flavor. It's organic, low in fat, light and healthy. It was a perfect addition to this soup! Be sure to check out Bilinski's website...you won't believe all of the delicious sounding products they offer!
Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage and Black Bean Soup
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup celery, diced (about 3-4 stalks)
1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced (about 3-4)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
4 cups chicken stock
1 can petite diced tomatoes with juice
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 bay leaf
1 package Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage
In a large pot or Dutch oven heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and carrots. Saute about 7 minutes. Add red bell pepper and garlic to pot. Saute about 2 more minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, black beans and spices, stirring well. Bring to a slow boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender (about 45 minutes.) Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Slice chicken sausage into 1/4-inch slices and add to soup. Keeping soup on simmer, heat through (about 15 minutes.) Since the sausage is already cooked right out of the package, it's very important not to add it to the soup until the end. You don't want it to over-cook.
Serve with a nice crusty bread and enjoy!