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Kale and White-Bean Stew

Combining Two Portuguese favorites--kale-and-sausage soup and a bean, sausage, and tomato stew--makes a simple, sensational one-pot meal. To keep the focus on the vegetables, we've used just a tiny amount of fresh sausage; you can add more, if you like, or substitute dried chorizo or pepperoni.

  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/4 pound mild or hot sausages, casings removed
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound kale, tough stems removed, leaves washed well and shredded (about 1 1/2 quarts)
  • 3 1/3 cups canned diced tomatoes with their juice (two 15-ounce cans)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 4 cups drained and rinsed canned cannellini beans (two 19-ounce cans)



  1. In a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking the meat up with a fork, until the it loses its pink color, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and then stir in the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and kale to the pan and cook, stirring, until the kale wilts, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, and pepper; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the kale is tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir the beans into the stew and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. If you like, mash some of the beans with a fork to thicken the sauce.


Shred kale leaves as fine as possible when making quick soups and stews, so that each bite will include tender greens instead of a chewy mouthful.

Suggested Pairing

Since this dish has a strong Portuguese influence, why not pair it with a rustic red from Portugal? Try one of the many delicious examples from the Douro or Ribatejo regions for a lusty combination of food and drink.

Photo © Susan Spungen Published January 2014

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