Tag Archives: rustic

Slow Cooker White Bean & Sausage Soup

Due to the wacky weather of a Texas Spring, it fortunately still affords us the opportunity to enjoy a warm bowl of soup.  Now, I won’t delve into the rich, hearty, creamy versions that I indulge in come Fall and Winter.  I will, however, sit down to a light broth style.

This meal is so stinkin’ easy as you simply cook and sauté your sausage and onions and then it all goes into the pot!…or the slow-cooker so to speak.  *In many, if not all, slow-cooker meals, I advise always sautéing you’re veggies prior.  Your dish will have SO much more flavor!  Same goes with meatloaf, precook your veggies first people, do not add them to your meat blend raw!…I digress…

So back to THIS bowl of light and flavorful soup, my other tips and/or advice is to use the hot Italian sausage, not the mild or the sweet.  If you insist on the others, so be it, but I promise this soup is anything but spicy.  Also, please drain and rinse your beans with a fine mesh sieve or colander.  Removing the extra starch the beans contain in the can will ensure a light broth.

Now, I suggest if you’re in a slump for what to make this week, please try this out!  You can serve it with warm bread and butter, a half sandwich or a light salad… and life will be good.

The Starting Lineup

  • 4 (15oz) cans of white cannellini (or great white northern) beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 (32oz) cans or boxes of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (14.5oz) cans of Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups spinach leaves, fresh/bagged
  • 2 lbs of hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil, torn (garnish)
  • Parmesan cheese, grated (garnish)

In a skillet on your stovetop, over medium heat, brown the Italian sausage with the onion, garlic and a hefty pinch of salt and pepper.

Drain and add the cooked meat mixture to your slow cooker along with the beans, chicken broth, tomatoes and spinach leaves.  Set the slow cooker on HIGH for 3-4/LOW for 5-6 hours.

To serve:  Ladle into bowls and top with a bit of the fresh basil and parmesan cheese and serve with warm crusty bread.  Enjoy!

WhiteBeanSausageSoup

Turkey, Brie & Apple Pockets

The options of fillings on these are limitless and trust me..I’ve tried a few, even breakfast.  However,…..nothinnggg that I’ve found and tried beats this one.  These are knock your socks off good!!  Did I just sound old there?? 😉

This is barely even considered ‘cooking’, besides the fact that you have to turn on your oven for 20minutes.  The great thing is no one will be the wiser.  This tastes like a picnic at the park or fancy bistro fare.   It’s kind of impressive.

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 cans crescent roll dough
  • 1/2 lb quality, deli turkey breast, thin slices
  • 8oz of Brie cheese, 8 thin slices
  • 1-2 apples, thin slices
  • 2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon, plus more for dusting
  • 1 egg 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly spray. With the first roll of crescent dough, which I have my husband open due to my irrational fear of them ‘popping’ open (hell, I’d even walk to a neighbor before I opened one of those alone), start taking the precut triangles apart. You will place 4 on each baking sheet.  However, first you must stretch them to literally double in size.  You can either gently pull and press with your fingertips or lightly flour and use a rolling pin or wine bottle.    Now with 4 dough triangles on each sheet, let’s cut them apples!  I have no rhyme or reason to how I cut them, but I just like them in thin slices.  I also prefer to leave the skins on.  Do what you wish..  After your apple(s) have been sliced, just toss in the spicy brown mustard, the honey and the cinnamon.  Mix well…these are weirdly delicious.  Like seriously..     While my apples are soaking up that sweet & tangy concoction, I slice the Brie cheese, thinly as well!   Assembly time!!!  Take 1-2 slices of your turkey (I’m sure any turkey would work here, but I honestly use our grocers REAL oven-roasted, sliced at a 1 or 2..it’s way, way better than Boars Head, etc even!) and lay lengthwise on your dough.  Follow that with 3-4 Apple slices and your Brie Cheese.       With your second can of crescent dough, do the same as above.  Carefully press or roll out till doubled. Make an egg wash with the 1 egg and a splash of water.  Beat together till lightly frothy. Lay each of the 8 extra dough triangles overtop your assembled “pockets”.  This is where you realize how great it is to thinly slice all of your ingredients.  Press each side together and crimp with a fork.  Do not worry AT ALL about it looking pretty, you know I like things rustic!  Also, if you have any tears on the top, you can always mend it with a bit of extra dough from the corners or just let that gooey Brie ooze right on out!  Brush the tops and crimped edges with the egg wash you just made.  This will make a beautiful golden crust and keep it slightly crisp.  Bake these for 12-15 minutes till beautifully browned!  They’re best served straight out of the oven or at room temperature…just be careful because that cheese is hot!  These are soooooo good!!! 

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