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This is one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE recipes!!!  I can’t tell you how good it is – you have to try it out!!!  It’s very easy and quick.  You can make it with meat or without.  If you are going to add meat I suggest using crumbled italian sausage.  Whole foods sells an all natural, sugar free, chicken italian sausage in their meat case.  You can have them cut the sausage out of the links for you and then just brown it into crumbles to be used in the stew.  If you don’t want to do that, you can always use extra lean ground turkey breast or ground chicken breast and some seasonings used in italian sausage.  If using meat, just brown and set aside then add it to the stew later.

This soup is great when your sick because it has a little kick that can help open up your sinuses, the broth is soothing to the throat, and it’s packed with nutrients!!!

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Here’s the recipe without meat….it’s vegan!!!

1 medium sweet onion diced

2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic (or 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced)

1 small butternut squash – peeled, gutted and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes.  Or you can buy a bag of already cubed butternut squash.  You want about 3 or so cups chopped.

1 bunch kale – not the chopped up stuff in the bag.  (Walmart carries whole leaves of kale in bunches).  Remove the steams and tear the leaves into smaller pieces, wash well and drain. If you must buy bagged kale – make SURE to remove all the stems.  You have to pick through the whole bag and tear the leaf part off of the stems.

1 can cannellini beans or other white bean – drained and rinsed

1 quart of broth (I like Imagine Organic No Chicken Broth – or if not vegan, Imagine’s Organic Free Range Chicken Broth is THE BOMB!!!)
Italian seasoning (1-2 teaspoons)

Crushed rosemary (1 teaspoon)

Garlic powder (1 teaspoon)

Dried oregano (1/2 teaspoon)

Dried thyme – not the ground up thyme but the actual dried thyme leaves – (1/2 teaspoon)

Ground sage (1-2 teaspoons)

Red pepper flakes (I really don’t know about the measurement on this one – I do it til it has a nice kick – maybe 1/2 tsp)

1) Heat a dutch oven on med heat

2) Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom and add chopped onion and garlic.

3) Cover and allow to cook for several minutes until onion becomes clear and tender

4) Add cubed squash and enough broth to just cover it.  Place the lid on and crank up the heat to med-high.  The broth will simmer and steam the squash.  This won’t take too long – just keep checking it every few minutes until they are fork tender and mashable.

5) Once the squash is done, add the beans, broth, kale, and seasonings.  (If using meat, add it here)  Cover and increase the heat until it comes to a boil.

6)  Taste the stew and add more seasonings if needed.

7) Reduce heat and allow to simmer 10 more minutes or until ready to serve.

NOTES:

*I like my soups and stews pretty thick – if you don’t, just add more broth.

*Again, all measurements were approximate because I don’t measure anything.  The flavor should be very robust and the herbs should really stand out.  It should have a slight kick but it’s mild and not enough to burn your mouth.

If you try this, PLEASE come back and leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Enjoy!!!

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