Garlicky Sausage, Spinach and Kidney Bean Quick Soup

It's so cold this time of year, and that means that soup is the order of the day -- at least every other day.  While I simply adore the flavors of stews that simmer for hours and build flavor over time, I don't always have the time. Last week, I used up the fixin's in my fridge and pantry to create a super easy, flavorful soup that takes just 30 minutes to prepare. 

You will need the following (I purchased all ingredients at Walmart):
  • Bag of pre-washed and ready-to-serve "Power Greens" (includes spinach, baby bok choy, etc.)
  • 1/2 pound or more of Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage
  • 3-4 medium potatoes with skins (red or gold work best)
  • 1 large white or yellow onion
  • 1 can of light or dark red kidney beans (not in the picture but added later....makes the recipe!)
  • garlic
  • 4 cups skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons "Better than Buillion" Chicken, 2 cups of chicken broth, or one packet chicken gravy mix
  • salt and pepper to taste

To kick off this quick meal, you'll want to brown the sausage very well in the bottom of your soup or stock pot.  The Jimmy Dean sausage breaks up very nicely, but it's not as greasy as some sausages.  If you use this brand, you won't be disappointed; you may want to add a teaspoon of olive oil, however.

After the sausage is brown, add in the onion (diced), garlic (2 cloves or more diced finely) and potatoes (diced).  Cook them until the potatoes are cooked halfway through.  Now, you can add your chicken base.  Depending on what you have on hand you can:
  • Pour in 2 cups chicken broth
  • Add in enough "Better than Bouillon" (chicken) and water to make 2 cups broth, or
  • Make up 1 cup chicken gravy with a chicken gravy powder, plus add one cup water
Because I don't always have the same "chicken base" ingredients on hand each time I make soup, I like to give myself options.  Cook on medium high heat, stirring constantly until the soup bubbles.

Now, you can add your 4 cups of skim milk and turn the heat down to medium.  Once the soup is heated through, it's time to add the kidney beans.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes on medium.

While that's cooking, you can prepare your greens.  You can put the greens in whole OR shred the greens with a knife.  My kids like smaller greens in their soup (the flavor is milder), so I cut "strips" of greens before adding them to the soup.

Add in salt and pepper to taste, and keep cooking an additional 5-10 minutes or until the greens are wilted but not mushy.  Serve hot with crackers, crusty bread or rolls!

What is your favorite "cold weather" soup dish?

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I've received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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