Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Italian Sausage and Bean Soup

We like to make a big pot of chili or soup during the week so we can have it for weekday lunches. During the winter it is so much more appealing than a cold sandwich or salad. Matt came up the the idea for this soup as a way to use up a pound of Italian sausage in the freezer. It made about 6 - 7 servings so, we are set for a couple days anyway.
Italian Sausage & Bean Soup
Oh my, was this a flavorful soup & we didn't even use any stock in it. A lot of the flavor comes from the seasoning in the sausage so, make sure your pick a really good one or even better grind & spice your own. The red pepper, which was a last minute addition, is also a prominent flavor. Finally, we use the cooking water from beans in the soup as well. In the last couple of months we've really come to love the flavor the pot liquor from cooking beans adds to soups & stew, don't throw it out! It probably helps that we use really good Rancho Gordo beans.

Italian Sausage & Bean Soup

1 c dried white beans (we used Rancho Gordo snocaps)
1/2 T olive oil
1 lb bulk Italian sausage
1/2 red pepper, seeded & chopped
1/2 c chopped yellow onion
1 14/5 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes, juice included
1 T tomato paste
1/4 c red wine
1/2 t dried basil
1/2 t dried oregano
Parmesan rind (optional)

About 3 hours before you want to make the soup start your beans. Rinse the beans & put them in a pot or crockpot with about 3 cups water. Let simmer for 2 - 3 hours until almost completely tender (I like to under cook mine a little since they will cook a little more in the soup).

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage & cook through, breaking up with a spoon while cooking. Add the peppers & onions. Cook until the onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes with juices, beans with their cooking liquid, tomato paste, red wine, basil, oregano & two cups water. If you are adding a Parmesan rind do it now as well. Let simmer for about 30 minutes. Taste & season with salt as needed.

Serve with a good crusty bread. If you haven't used Parmesan rind you may want to sprinkle a little grated Parmesan on top.

Makes 6 - 7 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. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski


the wandering fork said...

It's such good weather for soup right now! mmm!

LauraHelen said...

Great recipe!!!

I just made almost the same thing this weekend!! I didn't have tomato paste, so I put the crushed tomatoes in the oven on a cookie sheet (with sides of course) for about 30 minutes. The tomatoes got toasty and the juices thickened into oven-baked deliciousness!! And before I served it, I added some julienned spinach and green onion for a little fresh taste - the spinach wilted in the heat and was so tasty!

Lori said...

Since I am totally addicted to quilting and such my husband and I have been eating a lot of soup. Quick and easy, once I have made the ginormous pot of it.

Lo said...

I love how Italian sausage immediately "ups" the flavor quotient in soup or pasta. That deliciously fennel-infused flavor is the perfect pick me up.

Lori said...

Delicious! I've got a little sausage left over. Maybe I can half it and give it a try.


this is a gorgeous soup Kathy - and beautifully photographed as well!

grace said...

that rich and flavorful broth is almost as much of a draw as the solid components of the soup--great work!

PG said...

Hmmm...wheels are turning now. I've never added parmesan rind to a dish. Would love to make better use of it. I also have some left over tomato paste for a stew I just made. This would be a good way of using it up.

I wonder if the liquid from the beans tastes good even if the beans are just from a run of the mill can of beans in water.

kat said...

Psychgrad - You know I don't know about the liquid in beans from a can. It's definitely not as liquidy as what I get when I cook my own dried beans but its probably worth trying.

Anonymous said...

Where did you get the rancho gordo beans in Mpls.?

kat said...

Anonymous - You can get Rancho Gordo beans in the deli at Surdyck's now. They don't carry a ton of varieties but some good basics. We also always pick up a bunch when we go to San Francisco.

Anonymous said...

By simmering the beans in the crockpot, do you mean you set the crockpot to the "low" setting?

kat said...

Anonymous - That really depends on your crockpot as they all heat a little differently. With our big crock pot we start on high until it starts bubbling & then turn it down to low. With our small crock pot we usually leave it on high the whole time as it doesn't get as hot.

Carol@easytobeglutenfree said...

I made this for dinner the other night. It was delicous!

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t = teaspoon
c = cup
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