Hearty White Bean and Sausage Soup
When the weather turns cold and raw there, nothing comforts and warms like a bowl of homemade soup.
Soup is one of the easiest meals to make, and often we already have the necessary ingredients.
The base for a good soup includes any combination of onions, carrots, garlic and celery. From there you can take it in any direction by adding potatoes, pasta, rice or beans and then maybe meat. And there you have it. Making soup is a great way to use leftovers for a completely new dish.
I tend to make soup in large quantities, maybe four quarts at a time. Soup freezes well, and it’s always nice to have it on hand for the next cold or rainy day.
The recipe below can be made either on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.
Yields 4 quarts
1 pound of Great Northern, cannelloni or navy beans
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion chopped
3 leeks (white part) sliced
2 Yukon potatoes, diced
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 pound of gluten-free smoked sausage, sliced ¼-inch thick
8 to 10 cups of chicken broth
3 teaspoons of sea salt (or 2 of table salt)
1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
Parsley for garnish (optional)
Cover the beans with 7 or 8 cups of water and let soak for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
In an 8-quart pot or 7-quart insert for a slow cooker, heat the olive oil and brown the sausage. Once browned, remove the sausage to a plate and set aside to add later. Add the onions, leeks, potatoes and cabbage and cook over low heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until they are just beginning to soften, stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic and cook for another two minutes. Add the sausage, beans, broth, salt, pepper and rosemary and simmer for one hour or until the beans are softened. If using a slow cooker, turn it to high for four hours or low for six hours.
Serve with a green salad.