Once autumn arrives and the cool weather and dark evenings take over, I crave a hearty one-bowl supper to warm my spirit. I make some version of this nourishing and flavorful soup throughout the colder months, and I always have leftovers in mind. I like to make this soup on a quiet Sunday, then tuck individual servings into the fridge or freezer for quick belly-warming lunches to last throughout the week. The flavors continue to deepen over the following days. — Erin Scott, Yummy Supper
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Gluten-free folks: please check your packaging, or ask the butcher to make sure sausages are gluten-free.
Reprinted from Yummy Supper by Erin Scott. Copyright (c) 2014 by Erin Scott. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.
Wash and trim the leeks. Slice the tender white ends into thin rounds; you want to have about 1 cup sliced leeks.
Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, onion, carrots, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover the pot and stew the veggies over medium-low heat until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
In the meantime, in a large skillet, brown all sides of the fennel sausage; no need to fully cook the sausages at this point, because they will continue cooking in the stew. Remove the sausages from the heat and slice into ½-inch-thick rounds.
Once the stewing veggies are tender, add the chicken broth and tomatoes to the pot. Bring to a simmer and add the rapini and sausage rounds. Cook until both veggies and sausage are cooked through, about 8 more minutes of simmering.
Finally, add the beans to the pot. Turn off the heat and let all the ingredients mingle. Taste for seasoning and add salt and black pepper to your liking. (How much seasoning you'll need will depend on how salty your broth and sausages are.) I like red pepper flakes in this stew, but I tend to serve them on the side so that the non-spicy members of my tribe enjoy the soup as well. Fish out and discard the bay leaf.
Scoop the stew into large shallow bowls and scatter chopped parsley over the top. Pass around bowls of grated Parmigiano and red pepper flakes.