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Video: Warm up a cold night with hearty winter stew

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    >>> in "today's" kitchen, what's on the menu, hea hearty soup, just what we need on this cold day . a a people are intimidated about soup and think it takes all day.

    >> it's a great weekend activity and the key is using canned beans.

    >> i can't believe it from bon appetite , we can use canned beans?

    >> today we are.

    >> it's one stop shopping and go to the grocery store and use two different soups?

    >> sure. absolutely. one of the things about beans, they take on any flavor you give the them.

    >> tell us about this recipe.

    >> this is in the skillet and you can slice this out. you pull this out.

    >> you're just browning it or cooking it?

    >> cooking and stir it at the end and thyme and garlic, nice and fragrant. it's really as simple as putting in some can ned beans. you rinse them off. you know how they come in that liquid. rinse it off.

    >> sure. i'm always making beans.

    >> they come in liquid. then some beans and chicken broth . this is so super simple. a lot of this you keep in your pantry. there are amazing white beans, on the weekend, put them in water overnight but you don't have time during the week.

    >> could you use any sausage you wanted.

    >> i add spice to it. this is for fresh chorizo. the spanish one is skinnier, has more flavor in terms of that spice. this is like garlic and chiles. you can use i ttalian sausage and the one thing about sausage someone else did the work putting in all the flavor.

    >> i like it. you have simmering over here.

    >> exactly. baby spinach from the supermarket. you fold that in and that chorizo you sliced up, dump it right in.

    >> sure.

    >> this will wilt down pretty quickly. this is more of a stew than soup, i guess. it's healthy. you have your veg, beans and meat and all-in-one skillet. not too much to clean up. i feel like you could handle this.

    >> i actually feel i could handle this, shockingly. how long do you cook this?

    >> just until the spinach wilts down which is happening particularly slowly right now. spoon it into bowls. this looks more like a salad than a soup.

    >> we can wait.

    >> trust me on this.

    >> i do. i totally trust you. you have another recipe, we won't go through the whole process, basically, you're using the same white beans.

    >> the same white beans again. if you don't eat meat and feeling lighter, onion and celery and garlic and canned tomato and fresh tomatoes and white beans. for the last 10 minutes , put in soup pasta, which have amazing names. farfilini.

    >> you had me at farfilini. and the gang is here. i don't think it's terribly intimidating. i will make some soup tonight. thank you so

TODAY recipes
updated 1/24/2013 10:41:18 AM ET 2013-01-24T15:41:18

Recipe: Chorizo and white bean stew

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 lb. fresh Mexican chorizo or Italian sausage links
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme 2
  • 15-oz. cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed
  • 2 cup slow-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 5 oz.baby spinach (about10cups)
  • Smoked paprika (optional)
Preparation

Ingredient notes: If you can't find fresh chorizo, use any fresh sausage. For less heat, choose a sweet (mild) Italian sausage. Smoked paprika can be found at most supermarkets.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Transfer sausage to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium. Heat remaining 1 tbsp. oil in same skillet. Add onion, garlic, and thyme sprig. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5-8 minutes. Add beans and broth and cook, crushing a few beans with the back of a spoon to thicken sauce, until slightly thickened, 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach by handfuls and cook just until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Slice chorizo and fold into stew; add water to thin, if desired. Divide stew among bowls; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with paprika, if desired.

Recipe: White bean and pasta soup

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2/3 cup chopped carrot
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 3 1/2 cups (or more) water
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups cooked white beans with 3/4 cup reserved cooking liquid
  • 1 large tomato, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 cup small pasta (such as farfalline)
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions (white and pale green parts only; about 2)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
Preparation

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, and celery. Sauté until all vegetables are soft, about 12 minutes.

Add 3 1/2 cups water, beans with cooking liquid, and tomato and bring to simmer.

Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 25 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally.

Mix in pasta; bring to boil. Cook until pasta is just tender but still firm to bite, adding more water to soup by 1/2 cupfuls if very thick, about 10 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with chopped green onions, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, and serve.

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