This soup has all of the wonderful flavors of Red Beans and Rice, but in soup form. I like to puree a third of this soup to give it that velvety texture while still retaining some of the chunky goodness of the cooked beans and vegetables. I added some diced, cooked Andouille to the soup after the pureeing step. Here is the recipe:
Red Bean Soup Recipe
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
1 Cup Onion, chopped
1/2 Cup Bell Pepper, chopped
1/4 Cup Celery, Chopped
1 1/2 Cups Small Red Kidney Beans (soaked overnight or for at least a few hours)
1 Cup Ham, diced
1 Tbsp Fresh Garlic, Minced
1 bunch of Thyme, tied tightly with butcher’s twine
8 Cups Chicken Stock (You could certainly use water)
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce
1 Cup Andouille Sausage, cubed
1 Tbsp Italian Parsley, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Green Onions, thinly sliced on the bias
Hot Sauce to taste
Worcestershire Sauce to taste
Mix together the Holy Trinity (Onions, Celery, Bell Pepper). Drain the beans.
Melt the butter over medium heat.
Add 3/4 of the Holy Trinity, Ham, 1 Tbsp of the Creole Seasoning, turn the heat to medium high. Cook this for about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to get some color.
Add the beans and cook stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, or until the liquid from the vegetables is absorbed.
Add the Chicken Stock, Garlic, Bay Leaves, Thyme, the remaining Trinity, and Creole Seasoning. Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let this simmer for 2- 2 1/2 Hours.
After the beans have cooked for two hours, add the Tomato Sauce, Parsley, Hot Sauce, Worcestershire, and 1/2 of the Green Onions. Cook the beans for another half hour. Puree 1/3 of the soup, being sure to avoid the bay leaves and Thyme.
Saute the cubed Andouille with 1 Tbsp Unsalted butter until browned, remove with a slotted spoon and add to the soup. Simmer for 10-15 minutes more. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
As is the case with most soups, if you make this a day ahead, the flavors will be immensely better. Add additional stock or water if necessary, it should not be too thick.
Remove the Bay Leaves and Thyme. Serve with good crusty French Bread, and your favorite ice cold beer.