Confession, I love red beans and rice. I clearly don't make them often enough. My foodie bucket list includes a visit to New Orleans to chow down on this emblematic staple of Louisiana Creole cuisine. I hope I get there one day soon.
Until then I will tinker with making red beans and rice at home and continue to let it inspire other dishes like this hearty soup. Filling and delicious, this soup is the perfect wintertime treat. It is FULL of veggies, meat and spice. It's tangy and packs a nice punch on the taste buds. Honestly, after one bowl I was stuffed, but happily ate a second because of the flavor, it's just so delicious.
And it makes a huge pot so there are plenty of leftovers!!
You'll want to start your soup with dried beans you are going to soak overnight. I know there will be many who just want to open up a can of red beans and dump them in, but I urge you not to do that.
Don't worry, cooking dried beans is so easy, it just takes planning. Plus dried beans are very different in comparison to the canned variety, they have a better texture and flavor, with a higher nutritional value.
The picture above is how the beans look after they have been soaked overnight. Always cook dried beans in fresh water after they have been rinsed.
One other way I enjoy cooking beans is in my pressure cooker. If you have a pressure cooker this is a quick way to get them done.
Stir in the the spinach and scallions before ladling into a bowl. In New Orleans they might have added mustard greens in place of the spinach, feel free to do whatever you like.
Let me know how much you love it. I have a feeling you will be making this one more than once.
Red Beans, Rice and Sausage Soup
- 1 lb dry red kidney beans
- 7 oz (half of a 14 oz package) polska kielbasa, diced
- 1/2 lb ground mild Italian sausage
- 1 medium-small yellow onion, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small green bell pepper, diced
- 3 ribs of celery, diced
- 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 8 cups chicken stock or broth (I prefer stock)
- 1/8 cup Tabasco
- 1-1/2 cups batsmati rice, cooked (1/2 dry with one cup of water will make this amount)
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 5 oz fresh baby spinach leaves
- Pick through dry beans to remove any pebbles and rinse them well. Soak them overnight in a large covered pot with cold water to cover by 3". In the morning drain and rinse them well. Place beans back in the pot adding 6 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil and turn down the heat to very low. Cover pot, but stick around for a few minutes and make sure water does not bubble over. Check beans for doneness after one hour. If they are still hard continue to simmer on low until done, usually another 15-30 minutes. Add more water if necessary. When beans are done drain them (they can also be refrigerated for a few days at this point).
- In a large, heavy bottomed soup pot (I used my 7 quart Dutch oven), saute kielbasa and ground sausage over medium heat (make sure to brown well); 5-7 minutes. Add onion, bell peppers, celery, brown sugar, thyme and salt. Continue cooking and stirring often for another 7-9 minutes while the veggies soften. Deglaze the pot with the apple cider vinegar, scraping up any browned areas.
- Add stock, all the cooked beans, Tabasco and rice; bring to a simmer. Stir in scallions and spinach just before serving.