When it’s cold outside, grab a bowl and spoon to dig into this hearty Red bean and Sausage Soup, a delicious, economical meal that feeds the whole family. Like Cajun red beans and rice in soup form.
If you love Cajun flavors, then this Red Bean and Sausage Soup is for you! It’s simple, rustic and FULL of flavor. It’s also economical, because it starts with dried beans, which usually hover in the $1-2 dollar per pound range. Of course, one pound of dried beans, yields a whole lot more after they’ve been soaked. Dried beans are a great way to stretch your food dollar. That’s something I’ve preached to my “starving college student” daughter, but it’s also advice that I take into account when I’m grocery shopping.
A pot of beans can easily feed a family of four and when you add in a few more ingredients — it feeds them well. Even if you’re only cooking for one or two, this makes sense, because you can eat on this pot of cajun red beans and rice all week. It’s great for lunches or quick dinners and it freezes beautifully.
How To MakeRed Bean and Sausage Soup
If you’ve ever wondered how to make bean soup, start by soaking your beans. I prefer soaking overnight, but you can also do the quick soak method in a pinch or use your pressure cooker or Insta Pot to deliver tender beans in no time.
The soaked beans will double or triple in volume, so you can see how they’re a great option for feeding families on a budget.
To make a Cajun soup, you need Cajun seasonings. In every Cajun or New Orleans cookbook I’ve ever seen, all the recipes start with the holy trinity — garlic, bell pepper and onion. Dice the vegetables, mince the garlic and throw in a few dried bay leaves for good measure.
Now for the Cajun spices: paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, salt and black pepper. I mix a batch of this and store it in my pantry so that it’s always ready to season a pot of beans, or to sprinkle on chicken prior to grilling. I even like to add a dash to my morning eggs – don’t judge. This spice blend will keep for several months in a cool, dry place. If you don’t feel like making your own, you can buy a pre-mixed blend at the grocery. I promise I won’t think any less of you.
To round out this soup, I used andouille sausage. It’s got a bit of a kick and my family loves those meaty chunks of sausage lurking in their bowls. I’m sure yours will too. Add chicken stock and fresh thyme and bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the beans are tender.
This isn’t a thick stew-like soup — which is a bit of a departure from my usual bean soups, but it works here because we’re adding cooked rice to the beans just before serving.
Cooking rice might not seem like a big deal, but if you don’t have a rice cooker (I don’t ) and you’ve had your pot boil over more times than you can count (I have), than you’ll appreciate this tip on cooking rice — and most grains…
How To Cook Rice Perfectly Every Time
- Fill a large saucepan about halfway with water and bring it to a boil.
- Add a pinch of salt, then stir in 1 cup of rice (or other grains).
- Maintain heat at a rapid simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes less than the prescribed time on the package.
- Test a grain for doneness. If it’s ok, proceed, if it needs another minute or two — continue to cook.
- Drain the rice (grains) into a sieve, making sure to drain as much water as possible.
- Transfer the rice back to the pot and secure with a lid. Let the rice rest (off the heat) for 10 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork.
- Voila – perfectly steamed!
Spoon the rice over the bowls of sausage and bean soup and garnish with sliced green onions and a liberal dose of hot sauce to taste. I like Crystal hot sauce for all my Cajun fare — it’s not overly hot and it’s got a nice vinegary finish, which complements the flavors in most Cajun and Low Country dishes.
- 1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 strips bacon chopped
- 1/2 medium green bell pepper chopped
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic minced
- 4 bay leaves
- 12 ounces andouille sausage sliced into 1/2" thick rounds
- 1 pound dried small red beans covered with water and soaked overnight
- 1 tablespoon Cajun Spice Blend
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire
- 5-6 stems thyme tied in a bundle
- 8 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups cooked white rice warm
- 3 green onions chopped
- favorite hot sauce we like Crystal's
In a small bowl, combine the paprika, salt, garlic powder, pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper and oregano, stir and set aside.
Drain the rehydrated red beans. Rinse and drain again. Set aside.
In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the bacon and stir, cooking for two minutes to render the fat and become fragrant. Stir in the onions, green pepper, garlic and bay leaves cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the vegetables start to get tender. Add the andouille sausage and stir, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes. Stir in the red kidney beans.
Add one tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning (reserve the remainder for another use), worcestershire sauce and bundle of thyme. Stir in the chicken stock and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, or until beans are almost tender.
Add salt to the soup and continue cooking an additional 15 minutes or until the beans are tender.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a few tablespoons cooked rice, scallions and hot sauce to taste.
Serve with a side of cornbread and a green salad for a delicious meal.
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