Nothing like warm soup and homemade bread on chilly nights.
This soup takes awhile but is easy...and so worth it. When I make it during the week, I prep everything the night before. Otherwise, I start it mid day.
White Bean soup:
Soak a 1 lb bag of navy beans over night.
In a stock pot, heat a couple drizzles of canola oil then saute over low until soft:
1 small onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup chopped celery
1 large bay leaf
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp thyme
Drain beans and add to the pot, then add enough stock or water to cover everything by about an inch or two. (You'll need about 6-8 cups of liquid.) I always have additional liquid on hand so beans don't get dry.
Bring to a boil, then turn down and cover with the lid. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Brown 1 lb of sliced spicy or smoky sausage. We use a smoked venison sausage that is awesome but any smoked sausage will do.
Pour off the grease but leave the drippings.
Add the sausage and the drippings to the soup and stir. Add a little water to the pan and scrape up any bits and swirl around and add that water to the soup and stir.
Bring to a simmer and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
If the sausage didn't make it salty enough, add some now....but start with 1 tsp.
Take a potato masher and smash about 1/4 of the beans
Add 1 cup chopped carrots
If needed, add more stock/water
Simmer 1 more hour.
At this point, taste to correct seasonings and serve with hot bread!
To make your family REALLY happy, follow this up with some homemade white chocolate/macadamia nut cookies! These are easy to make. I just use the Toll House cookie recipe on the bag but:
substitute 1 small bag of white chocolate chips for the semi-sweet chips (12 oz)
substitute 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts for the walnuts
Not a bad way to start the weekend........