This hearty soup is full of robust flavours. Spicy smoked sausage, earthy rosemary and buttery cannellini beans.
|1 lb||(500 g) Dried cannellini or white kidney beans|
|8 cups||(2 L) Water|
|3||Cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided|
|2||Sprigs fresh rosemary|
|Salt and pepper|
|3 tbsp||(45 mL) Olive oil, divided|
|1 Pkg||Grill'ems jalapeno, sliced|
|1||Stalk celery, diced|
|3 tsp||(15 mL) Chopped fresh thyme, divided|
|4 cups||(1 L) Chicken broth|
|1/3 cup||(80 mL) Whipping cream, optional|
PLACE beans in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by at least 4 inches (10 cm). Allow beans to soak overnight at room temperature.
DRAIN the beans and return to the pot. Add 8 cups (2 L) of water, 1/3 of the garlic, rosemary sprigs and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer for 1-1 ½ hours or until the beans are just tender. Season with salt and pepper. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the rosemary sprigs and bay leaf. Set beans and liquid aside.
HEAT 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage and cook 5-6 minutes or until browned. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.
HEAT remaining olive oil in the same pot. Add onion, carrot and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté vegetables for 8-10 minutes over medium heat. Add remaining garlic and 1 tsp (5 mL) thyme. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add 2 cups (500 mL) of reserved bean cooking liquid, chicken broth and beans to the pot. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until all vegetables are soft. Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, puree soup until creamy but still slightly chunky.
RETURN soup to the heat and add sausage. Cook 2-3 minutes to warm through. Stir in cream if desired and serve hot, sprinkled with remaining thyme.
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