PassageMaker’s Karen Evenden cooks up a storm with her sausage, bean, and kale soup, a perfect dish for those chilly nights of winter cruising.
Soup made from fresh, local ingredients has been nourishing families around the world for thousands of years. Prepared in heatproof/leak-proof containers and cooked over an open fire, the results provided a nutritious, filling, and easily digested meal.
I frequently observed this centuries-old custom during our years of sailing the Croatian coast and exploring the rural villages of former Yugoslavia. There, I learned that many Croatian meals still begin with a bowl of hot broth enhanced with a small amount of rice or a few flakes of fish, a tradition that probably dates back to Croatia’s landbased peasant culture when, after a backbreaking day in the field, family members would arrive at the table bone-tired and hungry. Since crop yields in the wind-swept, often arid Mediterranean climate were occasionally sparse, housewives were forced to become efficient stewards of their meager food supply. They learned that beginning a meal with a light soup staved off hunger and reduced the craving for large servings of precious proteins and carbohydrates.
From this practice of frugal stewardship came hearty versions of soups and stews—onepot meals that were the focal point of a rural supper. Healthy and satisfying, these substantial soups had other advantages: They could be thinned to feed unexpected guests, they helped stretch the scarce food supply, and they could be left unattended to simmer for hours in a large iron pot over an open fire while the housewife joined the rest of the family to work in the fields. And at the end of the day, a rich aroma welcomed the family home.
WHITE BEAN, CHARD, AND SAUSAGE SOUP
Serves: 4 - 6
This is a complete meal in a single bowl. Protein, carbohydrates, and greens unite to create a delicious balance of flavors in a single pot, and it’s ready to serve in less than an hour. Feel free to play with the ingredient list. Substitute kale or spinach for the