Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sausage and Dandelion Green Soup

 Fagioli, Cicoria e Salsicce Soupa
 (Medley of Beans, Danelion Greens, and Sausages Soup)

Oh my!  I have hit upon a tiny bit of heaven today..   I had some cultivated dandelion greens from my very first CSA (www.geaugafamilyfarms.org) share of the season

and wondered upon a tasty way to use them since I've never actually eaten them.
I've read plenty about how nutritious they are and how in years past, they were an early spring green that were looked upon with great favor and eagerly foraged by many. 

I started out by by doing a search for dandelion, bean & sausage soup and came upon this recipe for  Fagioli, Cicoria e Salsicce (Medley of Beans, Danelion Greens, and Sausages) by
Antonio Bruno from San Pietro, New York, NY on the  James Beard Found  James Beard Org  website.

I rummaged around in my pantries & freezers to see what I had to make this dish as it sounded right up my alley & pretty tasty..

What I came up with was this..

I had 1 bunch of dandelion greens,
1 nice bunch of fresh chard,
both red & white bunching onions,
a package of uncooked chicken sausage with spinach & feta (I think thats what they are.. haha.. my bad, no info on the sausages. ) and a jar of white beans with ham soup I canned last fall.  I forgot the garlic until I needed it, but never fail, I always have loads of garlic in my freezer.

If you didnt know this.. Garlic stores beautifully in the freezer... 

I cant tell you how many bags I've had that started to mold on me in the refrigerator before I used them up, and one day it just occurred to me to toss them in the freezer.. Waalah!  Fresh garlic on hand at all times.

You can slice, dice, puree, whatever you want after you've removed what you want & let it thaw for a few minutes.  Works for me!!

I started chopping up my veggies...  I trimmed the ends of the dandelions & chard, discarding them, then I  stripped the leafy greens from the chard and rough chopped the stems and the bunching onions, chopping about 3/8 inch cuts. 

I was planning on just blanching the greens as the recipe dictated so I thought I'd toss in the chard stems to give them a few extra minutes to cook.  While that was cooking, I removed my frozen sausages from the package and decided to toss them in the boiling water to cook as well...  Im improvising here, yanno.  ;)

I let them cook until the sausages were done, removed them, and added my chopped up greens to blanch.  After 5 or 6 minutes,  I decided to toss in the bulb and neck part of the bunching onions to let them get a tiny bit soft..  I was on my way to remove the greens to proceed with the next part of the recipe but here is where I took a real turn..    I tasted the water the sausage, greens, & onions had cooked in & it was quite tasty.. I had been afraid it was going to be bitter from the dandelions but to my surprise, it wasnt at all..  That settled that..  I was making this soup instead of the dish I'd been working towards..

I sliced my cooked sausages in rounds, and sliced up about  10 or so garlic bulbs and added them to the pot and then I added the green onion tops that were also rough chopped..

Last, I added my jar of my homemade bean & ham soup and stirred it all together and let it simmer for another 4 or 5 minutes.  If you'd like an undertone of heat, add some dried red pepper or a splash or two of your favorite hot sauce or pepper sauce.

Then, I served myself up a bowl of this bit of heaven & surprised even myself as to how delightful it truly is.

 Give it a shot.. Your taste buds will love you and you'll have found another great way to use up some of that CSA Chard & Dandelion Greens.

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