Last winter we participated in a 60-day pantry and freezer challenge to use up our leftovers and save money. It was a great experience and yes, we did save on groceries. I also got creative and whipped up new recipes like this one for white bean and kale soup with sausage leftovers.
We reduced our waste too and even found that we were eating healthier. Probably because I was more intentional with meal planning.
And here's the recipe! I started with a cookbook recipe but ended up just closing it and doing my own thing with the ingredients we had on hand.
We followed it up with these delicious chocolate chip pecan cookies - so good.
This is a perfect recipe to simmer on the woodstove or on our propane cooktop.
We'll do another pantry and freezer challenge in January 2024. I'll be sure to include this white bean and kale soup with sausage recipe. It was a BIG hit with all of us.
How to Blanch Kale for Freezing
Each year as I'm planning our garden, I expand it a bit to add more vegetables suitable for a northern vegetable garden. With just seven-eight weeks for a growing season, it's challenging. However, the 20+ hours of sunlight mean some of our crops grow really well.
This can mean we get bumper crops of certain vegetables like broccoli. I chop it up into small pieces. And then we then freeze it in 1-cup portions.
Then when I'm ready to make soup, like this cheesy broccoli soup with bacon recipe, I can just grab a bag and toss it in.
In the past year, we became more serious about securing our family's food supply with chickens, turkey, and planting enough to feed our family. Luckily, kale is an easy, nutritious brassica that grows well. And stores well.
Learning how to blanch kale for freezing is easy. Blanching kale helps remove the bitter taste that can remain when you freeze kale as-is. Once you know how to blanch kale for freezing, you can store it for about nine months in the freezer.
- Set a large pot of water to boil.
- Rinse kale leaves in cool water to remove bugs and dirt.
- When water boils, drop leaves in and cover. Boil for 2 minutes.
- Remove from water, dry on cloth, and squeeze gently to remove extra water.
- Store in freezer bags (I use ½ cup portions.)
White Bean Kale Soup with Sausage Recipe
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- ½ onion, diced
- 1 large clove garlic
- 3 small celery stalks, diced
- 3 medium carrots
- ¾ cups chopped snow peas
- 8 grape tomatoes, chopped in half (about ½ cup)
- ¼ cup diced cooked bacon
- 2 large cooked sausages, any kind, sliced and diced
- 1 cup cooked leftover mixed vegetables, any kind (I used my mixed veg frozen bag - carrots, peas, corn)
- ½ cup kale OR ½ cup frozen mixed greens OR ½ cup spinach
- 1 cup cooked pasta
- ½ cup cooked white beans OR ½ cup green lentils
- 8 cups of water
- 1 package of organic dried vegetable soup mix
- Saute first 9 ingredients in olive oil until onions are translucent.
- Add everything EXCEPT cooked pasta.
- Bring to boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add cooked pasta and turn off heat.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Serve with shredded cheese, fresh ground pepper, and homemade crusty bread or rolls.
Nutrition InformationYield 7 Serving Size 2
Amount Per Serving Calories 240Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 20mgSodium 483mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 5gSugar 4gProtein 11g
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