Sausage and White Bean Stew

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.
— Edith Sitwell

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh sausage links (I used organic apple chicken sausage, but this would be good with a sweet Italian sausage, or spicy chorizo)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1  30-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  • 5-10 cups organic baby spinach, chopped (your preference)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through (should take about 15-20 minutes). Remove the sausage and set aside on paper towel-lined plate to absorb some of the excess oil.

Reduce heat to medium. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same pan. Add chopped onion, garlic, and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened (6-8 minutes). Add beans and broth and cook for 8-10 minutes. If you would like a thicker stew, crush a few of the beans with the back of a spoon or fork. Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Add chopped spinach by handfuls and cook for just a couple of minutes so it gets a little wilty.

Slice sausage and add to stew.  Divide stew into bowls and serve sprinkled with crushed red pepper flakes if you desire a spicier flavor.