Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sausage and Bean Soup

I don't know about you guys but I'm starting to feel the holiday pressure. Really it's my own fault. You see, I decided to make a bunch of handmade gifts this year, 2 knit scarves, a pair of mittens, 2 pairs of pjs &, here's the topper, 4 quilts. The knitting projects are done but the sewing projects are taking a little longer, I still have the pjs & 2 quilts left to make. Plus I'm heading off to San Francisco again next week! Ok, breath. (Want to see all the stuff I'm making? Visit my craft blog.)

So, what does this have to do with food anyway? Well, as I'm sewing busily away in my craft room the last thing I want to do is stop everything to make dinner. This is when I love my slow cooker. Everything gets put together either in the morning or at lunch & then I have the whole afternoon to sew without stop. This soup gave me the time to quilt a whole quilt yesterday.
Sausage & Bean Soup
Served with some crusty bread this soup makes for a hearty winter meal with lots of flavor. It uses just a little stock & mainly water as the base because the sausage & beans impart so much flavor to the broth. Chose a good flavorful, garlicy sausage.

Let's talk beans. We used Rancho Gordo Snocap beans in this soup. They are bigger than the navy bean I would usually use in this type of soup & have a wonderful creamy texture. But really you can use any white bean in it. Using dried beans though, does really make a difference here because of the flavor they add to the broth while cooking. I totally recommend buying good dried beans like Rancho Gordo's. They have such a variety & the flavors & textures are so superior to most we get in the grocery store. We usually stock up with a few pounds whenever we go to San Francisco but they are available online & are starting to pop up in stores around the country. I know here in Minneapolis you can now get them at Surdyk's.

Sausage & Bean Soup

2 oz pancetta, diced (substitute bacon if you wish)
4 oz onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 c chicken stock
2 c water
1 c dried white beans, rinsed
2 polish sausages (brat size), cut in half length-wise & then sliced
1 bay leaf
1/2 t worchestershire sauce
1/2 t salt
1/2 t dried sage
a couple grinds of fresh pepper
a few dashes hot sauce

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta & cook until it renders its fat & begins to get crispy. Add the onions, carrots, celery & garlic to the skillet & sauté until the onion begins to get translucent.

Put all the the ingredients into a slow cooker. Turn to high & let cook for 4 1/2 - 5 hours until the beans are tender. (This time will really be depended on the size of your beans, we used quite a large bean.)

Makes 4 servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at OR at then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski


Elle said...

That looks wonderful! I totally need to get another slow cooker. I bought a great one, and didn't use it enough, so gave it to my sil.

Good luck on your deadlines--I'm sure you'll get it all done in time. :)

Megan said...

Busy! Busy! Busy!
I love my crockpot and perfect for those kind of days. Great gifts too. :)

Thistlemoon said...

Great post! I too am making holiday gifts this year (cookies, herbed honey, limoncello, herbed salts), so I know what you mean about loving your slow cooker! I agree 100%!

Peggy said...

Sounds like you've been a busy little bee with all those homemade crafts! That soup looks fantastic and comforting!

Lori said...

What a great slow cooker soup! All your gifts sound great. I'm only doing cookies and a few ornaments and I feel overwhelmed. You must be swamped. Enjoy San Fran!

Unknown said...

I love my slow cooker in the colder months too when days are busy. Your soup looks fantastic and those beans you used are huge! Talk about a good and good for you soup!

Lori said...

Wow four quilts... girl! You have really put the pressure on yourself! Dang!

EFT for Cancer said...

sounds great and perfect for the winter!

grace said...

big beans and spicy sausage are always welcome in my belly. always.

Deborah said...

I'm always looking for good slow cooker recipes! I wish I was crafty and was making gifts this year.

Amy P. said...

This soup sounds delicious, Kat. I'm always looking for new slow cooker recipes to cook, and with the weather we're having lately there's no better type of food.

Do dried beans really vary a lot in quality? I'm curious to try the Rancho Gordo beans.

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