I have this newfound romance that you should all know about. Kale. The leafy green goodness that although I was scared of for nearly three decades, has turned out to be one of the great loves of my life. So when Kristi from Saucy Pants sent this little number in, well, I knew heaven was sent.

From Kristi…There is nothing that makes me think of fall more than a bowl of hot stew! Once the leaves start falling off, the cravings begin, and I start dreaming of curling up on the couch with a soft blanket, a good book, and a hearty bowl of stew! There is one stew I crave in particular … my Italian Stew with Cannellini Beans + Kale. I found the inspiration for this recipe when I was learning to cook Italian. I am engaged, and my finace is Italian and comes from a long line of wonderful cooks … no pressure! I am so excited to share this stew with SMP and its wonderful readers because this stew isn’t any old stew. It has so many lovely flavors mixed in and even has some healthy bits too! I hope you enjoy!

P.S. The best part of this recipe is you can throw it in the crockpot! Easy and delicious – just what I like! And this recipe is one of those that is better the second day.

ITALIAN STEW WITH CANNELLINI BEANS + KALE

64 ounces tomato juice (I prefer the non-low-sodium kind, but low sodium still tastes great)
1 cup organic chicken broth
1 lb. Kosher ground turkey
2 cans cannellini beans
4 cups kale
1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons fresh basil
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme
juice from 1/2 large lemon
1/2 large yellow onion
1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
salt + pepper to taste
parmesan cheese for serving

Chop basil into long slices, and pull thyme from stems. Dice onion and tomatoes. Mince garlic. Chop kale into bite-sized pieces. Rinse cannellini beans until no more suds. Brown ground turkey in skillet over medium heat, and add 1 Tablespoon basil, 1 Tablespoon thyme, 1 clove garlic, and salt + pepper to taste just before done. Add to slow cooker along with remaining ingredients (including more salt + pepper to taste).Cook over low heat for 8 hours. Allow to cool. Put in airtight glass container andrefrigerate overnight. Warm and serve the next day sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

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