After four days of extravagant eating and drinking, capped off by one very delayed red-eye flight, I was eager for a quiet night at home with a simple dinner that took no more than 30 minutes to prepare. (Bonus points for NOT including oozy runny cheese, my good friend with which I spent far too much time last week.)
What we ended up eating was sort of a bastardization of gumbo -- I've never cooked nor really even eaten gumbo, so I'm not sure what precisely gives gumbo its gumbo-ness (rice? seafood? a roux base?), but I doubt my quickie half hour soup can hold a candle to the real thing. Still, it was easy, it was filling, it was (pretty) healthy, and it was good.
In future preparations, I might adjust the chicken broth-tomato ratio; the soup was excellent but dangerously close to being too tomato-y. I would also probably use bigger white beans (butter beans, maybe?) but I was working with what was in the cupboard. The chicken sausage that was in the fridge was Italian, but Andouille sausage would obviously provide a nice bite, too.
Quick Chicken "Gumbo"
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
4 links chicken or turkey sausage, sliced into 1/4" bits
1 can (15 oz) white beans -- cannelini, navy, butter, great northern -- all work (as would pinto)
1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
1/2 qt. chicken broth
salt, pepper to taste
1 bunch green kale
Add a few glugs of olive oil to a large soup pot. When shimmering, add minced garlic and brown until fragrant. Add sausage and brown, about 3-5 minutes. Add tomatoes (and here is where I might play with quantities, using about 20 oz of tomato but adding more chicken broth, up to a full quart) and stir, apprx 3 minutes. Add beans, stirring gently. Add chicken broth, and about 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and fresh pepper to taste. Bring the soup to a boil, and then lower to a simmer for about 10 minutes. While soup is simmering, chop up kale. Just before serving, add kale by the handful, letting it wilt. Once all the greens have been added and wilted down, let soup simmer for just a minute or two more, then remove from heat and serve with crusty bread and a crisp, slightly sweet white wine (like Riesling, Vinho Verde or Gewurztraminer) which nicely counters the spice of the (faux) gumbo.