It's getting colder and colder so more soups are on the menu. Here's and easy bean and bacon one... Makes almost 4 quarts 3/4 pound dry Great Northern white beans 6 slices bacon, diced 1 large onion, coarsely chopped 1 carrot, coarsely chopped 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped 2 cloves garlic 2 Tbl sweet Hungarian paprika 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes 7 cups chicken broth Salt and pepper to taste Soak the beans overnight in water. Drain and rinse and then cover them in fresh water and simmer them until done, about 45 minutes. Saute the diced bacon in a Dutch oven or soup pot until the fat is rendered and the bacon just starts to crisp. Place the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a food processor and process until everything is finely chopped. Add the vegetable mixture along with the paprika and crushed red pepper to the pot of bacon and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the beans and chicken broth to the pot, bring up to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the beans to a shallow bowl and mash them thoroughly with a fork. Return the mixture to the pot and simmer the soup for about 10 more minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if you like.
Not quite gumbo but a nice comforting slightly spicy Cajun stew.... Serves 4 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in 1 1/2 inch pieces 3 tsps of your favorite Creole/Cajun seasoning(divided)* 2 Tbl vegetable oil 4 ounces andouille sausage cut into a small dice 1 large onion, diced 1 green bell pepper, diced 2 stalks celery, diced 2 cloves minced garlic 2 heaping tablespoons flour 2 cups chicken broth 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded, cored a finely diced Cooked rice for serving Season the chicken thigh pieces with 1 tsp of the Creole seasoning. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or stew pot and then brown the chicken pieces a bit.Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Add the diced sausage to the pot and sauté over medium heat. Once the sausage starts rendering some of it fat, add the onion, green pepper and celery. Saute until softened. Add the garlic and sauté a minute or two more. Now stir in two teaspoons of the creole seasoning along with the flour and sauté for just a couple of minutes. Stir in the chicken broth and the chicken pieces and bring up to a boil and then down to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered for 15 minutes. Stir in the green onion, parsley and tomato and simmer five minutes more. Serve over cooked rice. Go here for a homemade Creole/Cajun seasoning: http://inpatskitchen.blogspot.com/2011/06/red-beans-and-rice.html
It's cool and rainy here, so I thought for dinner, soup would be in order. Maybe I got carried away, but this one is thick with beans and vegetables, along with a little Italian sausage. Dinner tonight and lunch for a few days.... Makes about 6 quarts 1 pound white beans, soaked overnight and then simmered for about 45 minutes in plain water until done 1 pound Italian sausage links, baked in a 350F oven for 20 minutes 2 Tbl olive oil 1 medium onion, diced 4 cloves minced garlic 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes One very large carrot, sliced into thin rounds One very large potato, peeled and diced 10 cups chicken broth 1/2 head cabbage, chopped Salt and pepper to taste In a large soup pot, warm the olive oil and add the onions and garlic. Saute until soft. Slice the baked Italian sausage into rounds, add them to the pot along with the crushed red pepper flakes. Saute for about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the sliced carrot and diced potato along with the chicken broth. Bring up to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the cooked white beans. Stir in the chopped cabbage and simmer until wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.