Dishing Up the Dirt

Late Winter Sausage & White Bean Stew

This time of the year always frustrates me when I’m in the checkout line at the grocery store. Mainstream food magazines flash bright covers with spring recipes like asparagus soup, strawberry-rhubarb pie, or sweet pea risotto. The fact of the matter is that most of the United States is still covered in snow and most farms will not be producing these spring delights until well past May. But here we are, mid March, and all I really want is a spear of grilled asparagus or to bite into a ripe and juicy strawberry. Instead, I’m left peeling off moldy sections of beets that have been in our storage all winter long or cutting off “eyes” that are growing on all of our potatoes. The onions and garlic are holding on, but not by much. Luckily, the field has thawed from our last big snowfall and I’m able to salvage some hearty greens like kale and collards (though they are in no shape for selling and only a very desperate farmer would be willing to consider them edible).

Our days have been dreary and wet and while I can only dream of my first sugar snap pea of the season or a slice of strawberry rhubarb pie, I’m left spending my evenings stirring a big pot of hearty soup using ingredients that are available to us. This recipe may not be what I’m craving after months of rich food, but it really is delicious while providing my family with nourishing ingredients and minimal effort in the kitchen.

I hope this recipe finds you and your family doing well and staying warm and safe. Hopefully this recipe will provide you with nourishment while you patiently (or impatiently) await your first spring vegetable of the 2022 season.

Cheers from a wet and dreary Tumbleweed Farm!

Late Winter Sausage & White Bean Stew

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 2 hours    Serves: 6-8

  • 1 pound dried great Northern beans (or your favorite white bean) soaked overnight or for at least 8 hours
  • 1-pound ground sweet Italian sausage (if in casings removed)
  • 1 Tablespoon ghee or butter
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow or red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • fat pinch or two of fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup of finely chopped collard greens (or kale leaves)
  • fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Drain the soaked beans and set them aside.
  2. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven brown the sausage, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat a bit. Once cooked through use a slotted spoon to remove it to a plate.
  3. Reserve the fat in the pan and add 1 tablespoon of ghee or butter. Add the tomato paste and cumin and cook until lightly browned and fragrant. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic along with the salt, and dried herbs. Stir in the beans and 8 cups of water and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the soup for about 2 hours or until the beans are tender. Return the sausage back to the pot along with the collard greens. Cook until the greens are wilted. Season everything with additional salt and pepper.


*Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary

Leave a Reply

2 thoughts on “Late Winter Sausage & White Bean Stew

  1. Marlene says:

    Thank you for the recipe. I’m going to figure out how I can make this more vegetarian by omitting the sausage or substituting it.

  2. jeff says:

    Looks delicious. Gonna rry this in the next few days. My chives have been starting to pop up like mad and it made me happy to see aririve.

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