Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spinach and White Bean Soup with Chicken Sausage

I wanted to make something simple, comforting, and healthy for dinner tonight. For me, that means soup. Soup is a great way to use up vegetables that you have in your refrigerator that are about to go bad. It's filling, but not heavy, and it's a great weeknight meal. The vegetable I needed to use up was spinach. I had a large amount of baby spinach, and it had been in my fridge for some time, so I needed to make a dish that would use all of it. This is a very simple soup made with ingredients I already had on hand. It was so easy to make, and only took about 10 minutes to throw together, and about 20 to cook.

Spinach and White Bean Soup with Chicken Sausage

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, or 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2-14 oz cans of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-12 oz. package fully cooked chicken sausage (I used Spinach, Fontina, and Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage from Trader Joe's)
  • 1-15 oz. can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 cups (packed) baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper
-Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are soft, but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes longer.

-Add the chicken broth, water, chicken sausage, and beans. Bring the soup to a boil and add the baby spinach. Simmer over low heat until the spinach wilts and the flavors come together (about 10-15 minutes), season with freshly ground black pepper and salt if necessary. (I used low sodium chicken broth because the chicken sausage I used was already quite salty, and I didn't need to add any extra salt to the soup)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pecan Tassies

I made these "miniature" pecan pies for a football party on New Year's Day, but I haven't gotten around to posting it until now. I got this recipe from Gourmet magazine, and I took the a hint from At the Baker's Bench and added a little sugar to the crust as well. These are wonderful little bite-sized treats that I will definitely make again. I used a canister for a roll of film to form the crust in the mini-muffin tins. I simply placed the ball of dough into the tin and firmly and evenly pressed the canister into the dough. It will push the dough up the sides and form a well for the filling. If you like pecan pie, you will love these.

Pecan Tassies
makes 24

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 1 tablespoon butter, softened slightly
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened slightly
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • In a bowl combine 1 stick of the butter, and the cream cheese, stir in the flour, and form the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into 24 pieces and press the pieces into the bottom and up the sides of 24 small (2-tablespoon) muffin tins.
  • In a small bowl beat the egg lightly with the brown sugar and stir in the pecans, the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Divide the filling among the pastry-lined tins, bake the tassies in a preheated 350° F oven for 25 minutes, or until the filling is puffed slightly and the pastry is golden, and let them cool on a rack. Makes 24 confections.