The last few months I have really been trying to utilize other recipes, but be more creative with recipes to really make them mine. I tried this last night with white bean and sausage soup and it turned out really filling, not too spicy, but most importantly, it was yummy.
1 bag of small white beans (soak according to directions, drain)
4 small cans of chicken stock (about 8 cups)
1 cup of dry barley
1 lb. ground pork sausage
1/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leafed parsley (always flat-leafed parsley)
Spice salt-free fine herbes blend - or your favorite spice, rosemary would be divine.
Parmigiano reggiano - best bought at Costco, lasts for months, goes great with so many dishes! Only buy when imprinted as show to the right, otherwise it's a fakey.
Add 3 cans (or 6 cups) of chicken stock and the bay leaf to soaked and drained white beans. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours, adding dry barley half way through (to cook barley for 45 minutes). In saucepan, heat a Tablespoon of olive oil, saute onion to soften, about 5 minutes. Add to white beans. In same pan, add sausage, salt and pepper to your taste, stir frequently, until cooked thoroughly, about 10 minutes. Add to soup mixture. Add herbs (of your choice), about a teaspoon. Simmer or maintain heat on low until ready to serve. Remove the bay leaf and add parsley the last few minutes. Serve at the table with micro-plane grater and wedge of parmigiano reggiano per diner taste.
Add homemade cornbread (Andy made ours from scratch, what a man!), some butter and honey, et voila, dinner is ready.