Crockpot Sausage White Bean and Kale soup

Hi everyone! This recipe was a big hit for dinner a few weeks ago and I'm really excited to share it with you.  Like most families, we are always looking for new ways to get a quick and easy meal on the table. My kids have afternoon activities that often makes it difficult or impossible for me to set aside even a half hour to cook a meal from scratch. This was one of those nights -- my 7 year old has swim practice and we don't get home until at least 6pm. So to walk into the house and have my boys say "what smells so good?" had me hoping dinner would be complaint-free! I served up the soup with some quick grilled cheese on whole grain bread and the kids gobbled it up. Happy kids=happy mom! (and the hub loved it, too!)

Sausage - White Bean - Kale Soup in the Crockpot (Printable version)

3/4 pound chicken or turkey sausage (I used a variety of mild/hot and removed the casing)
1 medium onion
1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes (diced or crushed would work well, too)
2 15 oz. jars cannellini beans rinsed
1 32 oz. container good quality chicken stock
2 large handfuls roughly chopped kale or 1 cup frozen kale
2 teaspoons garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Brown the sausage and onion in a large skillet until cooked through, about 5-7 mins
2. Transfer cooked sausage and onion mixture to crockpot
3. Add remainder of ingredients except kale, (breaking up the tomatoes with wooden spoon if needed)
4. Cook on low for 6 hours, add kale and stir well, cook an additional 2 hours (8 hours total cook time)
5. Serve in soup bowls and garnish with parmesan cheese if desired

This recipe is a good example of using what you have available in your fridge or pantry to create a new recipe. My sausage was in the freezer, the kale came with my CSA delivery, and the remaining ingredients came right from my pantry. Few things make me happier than creating a healthy new recipe that the whole family enjoys! I hope you try it!

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