White Bean and Andouille Soup?
Its the COLDEST day of the year here in the northeast today and it got me thinking about hearty supper soup for tomorrow. I perused my pantry and saw some dried cannellini beans and got the idea to make white bean soup, something thick vs. brothy, and not with tomato. I also realized I had some andouille frozen in the freezer that needed to be used and thought the beans and andouille, somehow, would make a great soup. I have ideas about how I'll do this, but I first thought I'd pick the brains of others before just winging it. I thought I'd start by soaking the beans overnight. Then to make the soup, I'd begin with sauteeing some onions in some butter, adding some chopped celery and carrot, sauteeing until softened. Then I'd toss in the chopped andouille and sautee for a bit, until slightly browned. From there I'd add chicken stock, the beans, and a bouquet garni of rosemary & thyme. I'd bring it to a boil before simmering and cook until the beans are soft but not mushy. I'd take out a bit of the mixture (maybe 1/3) and puree, returning it to the pot and mixing it in. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and serve? Does this sound like it will just be a bland, ridiculous pot of slop or something relatively good to eat? Be honest, but not cruel--I'd like some pointers. Feel free to share recipes or links that might help! Thanks!
Do Not Soak the beans overnight. Absolutely no need to. They'll only take maybe 15minutes longer to cook from dry to finished soup. Start the beans cooking with several quarts of water and at least a tablespoon of thyme. Then do everything else. You're going to want more veg tha a couple sticks of carrot and a couple ribs of celery. The traditional Cajun Trinity is the way I'd go: an onion, a bunch of celery - some raw, some sauteed, and a couple red bell peppers chopped for color (one roasted, one not). Slice the andouille and saute it, then cut the slices into quarters. Sauteed the veggies in the andouille fond with a bit more oil. With andouille, a bouquet garni will be lost. Us stronger flavors.
Your soup sounds delicious and a perfect antidote to the cold here in New England. If you have some bitter greens on hand, maybe some kale or swiss chard, that would add some nutrition and extra flavor.
I also second the garlic suggestions. It makes a real difference in a hearty soup.
This is a staple for me. I love it. Your recipe sounds right on track, but just for fun, I include my own version below:
WHITE BEANS WITH SAUSAGE
1 package dried Great Northern White Bean
Chicken broth (lots)
1 lb precooked smoked sausage sliced on the diagonal about 1/4 inch to a half inch thick
1 package sliced white mushrooms
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped or minced in a press
1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
salt and pepper
- rinse the beans and pick through them
- Let soak over night in chicken broth in a large dutch oven (I just leave it covered on the stove but you can put it in the fridge if it makes you nervous. I find soaking them in broth adds a lot of flavor)
- Drain them the next morning, rinse them well, then refill the pot with more chicken broth, about an inch over the beans
- Bring to a boil
- As the beans slowly start to boil, in a large skillet brown the sausage. Dump the sausage in the pot with beans.
- Then saute the onions in the sausage fat, adding a little olive oil if need be. When the onions are soft, add the garlic, saute for a few minutes more then also add them to the beans. Once the beans hit a boil, turn them down to a simmer.
- Chop the sage very fine, or, in a morter and pestle, grind the sage with a little broth to a paste. I use a lot of sage, about 10 leaves at least. Add to the pot, along with the mushrooms, and lots of rosemary, at least two large stalks of leaves (I do this all by taste, it is hard to put too much)
- Add salt and lots of cracked black pepper. Be careful only with the salt, depending on how much salt your chicken broth has in it.
- Let the beans simmer a few hours, tasting as you go and skimming the foam from the top. I like them very flavorful. I also like the beans thick, with just a touch of broth, not a soup, but enough broth that you can eat it with bread to sop up juice. You can add chicken broth as needed.
Serve with a green salad and lots of good crust bread, some red wine and you have a wonderful, hearty dinner.
Sounds similar to a white bean soup a restaurant near me used to serve. They took it off the menu, more's the pity. However, in addition to your choices, they used zucchini. The soup was finished with a drizzle of balsamic & olive oil on top, a few croutons, and a few shavings of parmesan
Of course it does not sound boring, or bland. Soup is all about what you have on hand. The only thing I would do differently is render some bacon cut into small strips or thick lardon. Sautee my veg in the pork fat and finish the soup with a little more chopped thyme and parsley. Garnish the bowls or cups with the crispy bacon. Perfect cold weather dish. Have fun sounds great, now i'm inspired to make bean soup.