I needed a recipe big enough to feed all of us. The interwebs yielded this gem, which I tripled (TRIPLED), using my biggest stockpot. And, as expected, it is delicious.
Smoked Sausage and White Bean Soup (slightly modified from this recipe)
1 pound dried navy beans, rinsed1 tablespoon olive oil1 pound smoked pork sausage, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces2 cups chopped onions1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic2 bay leaves2 sprigs fresh thyme10 chicken bouillon cubes10 cups hot water2 teaspoons salt1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Soak beans in cold water and cover overnight (8 to 10 hours). Drain beans and rinse well, reserve.
In a large stockpot, heat water until just below boiling and add bouillon cubes. Remove from heat and stir until cubes are completely dissolved into stock.
In a saucepan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, or until browned. Remove the sausage from the skillet and reserve. Add the onions and cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, an additional minute.
Add the browned sausage and beans to the stockpot. Stir in bay leaves and thyme. Add the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Bring soup to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook partially covered for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. The cook time may vary depending on the beans, but they should be tender and falling apart when finished.
Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, if needed. Continue to simmer the soup for 30 minutes, uncovered, or until desired consistency.
The finished soup has a bit of a kick, which is great for a wintry day. I think I’ll add more thyme when I make it again, just because I like an herby flavor. Great with a salad and crusty bread to accompany (and I made fudgy brownies for dessert!). NOTE: this is a two-day recipe at the minimum. I think you could bend that if you used canned beans, though.
Recommended for: a robust option to nourish the hordes (err… I mean, friends?), a delicious soup for your winter feast, and the perfect solution when you find sausage on sale at the grocery. Enjoy!