One of my favorite things about winter is making soup. With a head of cabbage in it, this soup is healthy and delicious (and even tastier the next day!), and with sausage and beans, it’s also really hearty. Paired with fresh bread, it’s the perfect meal on a chilly night.
Serves about 8 as a main dish
8 oz (about 1 1/4 cups) dried Great Northern Beans, rinsed*
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 lb fully cooked Italian-style chicken sausage, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium head (about 3 lbs) cabbage, chopped
2 medium onions, diced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste), plus more for garnish if desired
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves or dried Italian herb seasoning)
2 bay leaves
2 chicken-flavored soft bouillon cubes
8 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
Pick over the beans and remove any stones, pieces of dirt, or irregular beans. Put them in a large bowl; fill the bowl with cold water and soak overnight. The next day, drain the beans, add them to a large pot, fill the pot with water, and bring to a boil over high heat; once boiling, turn the heat down, cover the pot, and cook until the beans are tender (about 1 hour, but it could take longer), adding more water as necessary and stirring occasionally; drain.
Heat the oil in a lidded 5-quart pot over medium-high heat; add the sausage and brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a bowl and set aside. Add the butter, then once melted, add the cabbage, onion, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to the pot; cover the pot and cook until the veggies start to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and rosemary, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the bay leaves, bouillon cubes, water, beans, and sausage; bring the soup up to a boil, then cover the pot, turn heat down to simmer, and cook until the veggies are tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and stir in cream; serve garnished with red pepper flakes, if desired.
*Instead of dried beans, you can use 2 (14 to 16 oz) cans of white beans if you prefer.