We just had the most GORGEOUS fall weekend maybe…ever? Saturday was 68 and sunny, no breeze, and perfect for winterizing our landscaping. Some may grumble about end of season yard work but it’s my favorite. Turns out weeding is easier when everything’s already dead, so, plus one, and also, the only thing I love more then cleaning the inside of my home is tidying up the outside. Only halfway kidding.
All that to say I spent Saturday afternoon clipping back our hostas, hydrangeas, lilacs, and wild grasses and, although I could barely walk by the end, I didn’t want to go inside. Our block felt like the set of a Hallmark movie – people walking dogs, raking leaves, and talking over fence lines while red, orange and yellow leaves fell and danced over our heads. The obnoxious buzz of my leaf blower and electric saw really completed the scene, I think.
Alas I had worked up quite the appetite (no hungrier woman than a nursing one who’s worked outdoors all day!) and there was a big pot of Tuscan Sausage and Vegetable Stew on the stove ready to be dished up and devoured. Coming in from an afternoon of yard work or not, this stew will nourish your body and soul!
I originally made this stew based on what I had in the house a few weeks ago and it turned out so well that I wanted to document it for the blog so we could eat it again and again over the next few months. Fresh vegetables including carrots, celery, potatoes, and baby spinach are simmered with canned tomatoes, chicken broth, beans, and diced kielbasa to create an absolutely scrumptious and hearty stew. I could eat bowl after bowl of this stuff – it is SO good!!
Maybe you’re wondering if my kids ate this healthy stew? Happy to report that they absolutely did – even my newly minted 2 year old. I did add cooked mini shell pasta (Tinkyada brand is our favorite right now) to their bowls, and told them the sausage was hot dogs, but who cares – two big bowls down the hatch! That said, while I adore this stew as is, you could definitely add cooked pasta like elbows, orzo, or alphabet pasta would be super fun too.
This stew is not only terrific fresh but reheats well and keeps for several days so it’s great for easy lunches. Add a few crackers or a sliced apple and you’re set. Also, due to it’s hearty, healthy, and comforting nature, this stew would make a terrific delivery to a friend or family member who’s just had a baby or surgery, or is in need. Definitely a food-hug type of dish!
Start by heating a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch Oven over heat that’s just a touch above medium. Add chopped carrots, celery, shallots, kielbasa, and garlic then season with homemade seasoned salt and pepper. Cover with a lid then cook for 7 minutes to start softening the vegetables.
Remove the lid then continue to saute until the vegetables are tender, and then add chicken broth, petite diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed Great Northern or garbanzo beans (I’ve used both and can’t decide which one I like best!) and Italian seasoning.
Bring the liquid to a boil then add 2 cups diced russet potatoes (~1 medium-sized potato) then partially cover, turn the heat down to medium, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes.
Last step is to add 2 packed cups baby spinach that have been chopped. Stir then cook until the spinach has wilted, just a minute or so.
That’s all she wrote! Scoop the stew into bowls then serve with crackers and lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese, if you please. I hope you love this hearty, soul-satisfying dish as much as we do! Enjoy!
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Tuscan Sausage and Vegetable Stew
Tuscan Sausage and Vegetable Stew is packed with healthy vegetables and beans simmered in a comforting, well-seasoned broth. Diced kielbasa adds a touch of savory decadence.
- drizzle extra virgin olive oil
- 13.5oz kielbasa, quartered then chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped small
- 2 medium-sized carrots, chopped small
- 1 shallot or small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- homemade seasoned salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 15oz can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- 15oz can great northern OR garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups chicken broth or stock
- parmesan cheese rind (optional)
- 2 cups diced peeled Russet potatoes (~1 medium-sized potato)
- 2 packed cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
- freshly grated parmesan cheese, for topping
- Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch Oven over heat that’s just a touch above medium. Add kielbasa, celery, carrots, shallot, and garlic then season with seasoned salt and pepper and stir to coat. Place a lid on top then cook for 7 minutes, stirring a couple times. Remove lid then continue to saute until vegetables have softened, 5-6 more minutes.
- Add Italian seasoning, undrained tomatoes, beans, chicken broth and parmesan cheese rind if using, then turn heat up to high to bring stew to a boil. Turn heat back down to medium then add potatoes, partially cover with the lid, and simmer until potatoes are tender, 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add baby spinach then cook until wilted, 1 minute. Scoop stew into bowls then top with parmesan cheese and serve.
- I love adding leftover parmesan cheese rinds into stews and soups - it adds the best savory flavor!
- I sometimes add cooked small-shaped pasta to this stew for my kids - mini shells, elbows, alphabet letters, orzo, etc.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.