Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Red Beans and Rice Soup

Red Beans and Rice Soup with green scallion garnish

A lighter version of a classic New Orleans Creole dish

One of our favorite comfort foods is red beans and rice—that spicy dish found everywhere in Louisiana. It’s particularly nice in cold weather because it warms you up in a hurry.

But it’s also a hearty dish, so it fills you up in a hurry too.

What to do when you want the terrific flavor of red beans and rice, but don’t want such a hefty meal? Just transform the dish into soup.

Red Beans and Rice Soup makes a great one-dish meal. But it’s not quite as caloric as the traditional version—which is a good thing for those of us still trying to lose that holiday bloat.

It’s also a smart way to celebrate Mardi Gras. Which arrives, of course, next week.


Red Beans and Rice Soup with green scallion garnish


Recipe: Red Beans and Rice Soup

This recipe is a riff off our more standard version of Red Beans and Rice.

The classic dish is a thick stew served over heaps of rice (in fact, sometimes the rice seems to be the dominant ingredient). Our soup version is much brothier, so the stew part gets diluted. And we use much less rice—it’s more accent than centerpiece.

This dish does take some time to make. Soaking the beans requires at least an hour, then cooking time adds another 2 hours or more (most of it unattended). Prep time is half an hour or so—but you can do that while the beans are simmering.

This recipe makes 4 to 5 quarts (or even more, if you like a really soupy soup). So serve it when you’re expecting a crowd.

But leftovers freeze really well, too. So you can make this recipe and have soup for a month.

Ingredients
  • 1 pound dried red beans (dark red kidney beans are commonly available, as are small “red” beans)
  • ~14 cups water, ham stock, or chicken stock (we often use ham or chicken base to make stock; see Notes)
  • 1½ cups diced onion (about 2 medium onions; exact quantity not critical)
  • 1 cup diced celery (3 or 4 ribs; again, exact quantity not critical)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1 bunch green scallions (optional)
  • 4 to 6 cloves of garlic (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or other oil of your choice)
  • ~1 teaspoon Kosher salt (to taste; see Notes)
  • 1 to 1½ pounds andouille sausage (may substitute a spicy smoked sausage like kielbasa)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or more, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano (or more, to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
  • 8 or 9 shakes from a bottle of hot sauce, such as Tabasco (optional; or to taste)
  • 2 to 3 cups of cooked white rice (or to taste)
  • garnish of minced green tips from scallions, or minced parsley (optional)
Procedure
  1. Quick soak the dried beans: Pick over the beans to remove any dirt or stones. Place the beans in a large cooking pot or Dutch oven (one that holds 7 quarts or more), and add enough water to cover the beans by 3 inches. Bring the water to a boil and let it boil for 2 minutes. Then remove the cooking pot from the heat, cover it, and let it sit for an hour (longer is OK). See Notes for alternatives to the quick-soak method.
  2. When ready to prepare the soup, drain the beans. Place the beans back in the cooking pot, then add about 14 cups of water or stock (you may need to add more later). Bring the beans to a simmer on medium stovetop heat, then reduce the heat so the beans simmer very slowly. Skim off any scum that may rise to the surface. Set a timer for 45 minutes.
  3. While the beans are simmering, prep the remaining ingredients (this will take 20 to 30 minutes, so time accordingly): Peel the onions and cut them into dice of ½ inch or a bit smaller. Set aside.
  4. Wash and dry the celery, then peel off the stringy outer bits. Cut the celery into pieces of ½ inch or so. Set aside.
  5. Wash and dry the green bell pepper, then cut it in half. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard them, and cut away the white ribs. Cut the bell pepper into pieces of ½ inch or so. Set aside.
  6. Wash and dry the scallions (you can just shake the water off). Cut off the root ends, then mince both the white and green parts. Set aside (you may want to reserve some of the minced green tips for garnish).
  7. Peel the garlic and mince it finely, or cut it into thin slices. Set aside.
  8. Place a large skillet (preferably nonstick) on medium stovetop heat. When hot, add the olive oil. When the oil has heated (15 seconds or so—it’ll shimmer), add the onions. Season with salt (to taste), and sauté the onions for 5 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, cut the sausage into halves or quarters lengthwise. Then cut the sausage across into pieces of ½ inch or less. Set aside.
  10. After the onions have been cooking for 5 minutes, add the chopped celery, bell pepper, and scallions to the skillet. Sauté the mixture for another 4 to 5 minutes.
  11. Add the garlic to the skillet and sauté for a minute.
  12. Anytime after the 45-minute timer goes off (Step 2; exact timing not critical), scrape the onion mixture into the cooking pot containing the beans. Add the thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, and hot sauce to the bean mixture.
  13. Now add the sausage pieces to the skillet (you may add extra oil if you wish, though that usually won’t be necessary). Cook the sausage for 5 minutes or so (to brown it a bit).
  14. Add the browned sausage pieces to the cooking pot containing the beans. Add more water or stock if necessary (you’re aiming for a fairly soupy consistency; feel free to add even more stock if you like a very liquidy soup). Taste the mixture, then add more seasoning if necessary. Cook the soup at a simmer for another 45 minutes to 1 hour (until the beans are soft and tender).
  15. While the soup is cooking, prepare the rice according to package directions. Once the soup is cooked, you’re ready to add the rice to the cooking pot. (Before you add the rice. you may want to break up the beans a bit with an immersion blender to thicken the soup; see Notes.) After adding the rice, stir the mixture to combine all ingredients.
  16. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. If you like, you can garnish each serving with minced green scallion tips or minced parsley. We always serve this soup with a bottle of hot sauce so those who want a spicier dish can add more heat.
Red Beans and Rice Soup with green scallion garnish

Notes
  • Instead of quick-soaking the beans (Step 1), you can soak them the night before you make the soup. Just pick over the beans to remove any dirt or stones. Place the beans in a large cooking pot or Dutch oven, then cover them in water by at least 3 inches. Allow the beans to soak overnight. When you’re ready to proceed, continue with Step 2.
  • You can make this dish without soaking the beans at all. But the beans will take much longer to cook—so add at least an hour to the cooking time in Step 2.
  • The traditional red beans and rice dish often is made with a ham bone, but that’s something most of us don’t usually have on hand. For this dish, we substitute ham stock or chicken stock (broth). The quickest and easiest way to make stock is by using soup base—a concentrated paste that’s sold in the soup aisle of your supermarket. Just mix the paste with water (using as much as you need to make the flavor as strong as you wish).
  • You can also add ham hocks or shanks to the pot in Step 2 and cook them with the beans. Remove the ham shanks before adding the rice (Step 15). If you like, you can let the ham pieces cool a bit, then cut the meat off the bones, dice it, and add the pieces to the soup pot. (Even when we do this, we generally need to add some ham base to make a stronger flavored broth.)
  • Andouille is a spicy Louisiana sausage that’s flavored with garlic. It’s usually made with pork, although beef versions are also available. Most of the national brands you’ll find in US supermarkets aren’t very good, so look for a local brand. Even better, look for one that’s made in Louisiana. If you can’t find a decent andouille sausage, just substitute a good-quality kielbasa or other smoked sausage.
  • Adjust the spices in this dish to your taste. We sometimes add a couple teaspoons of Cajun or Creole spice mix. Be aware, however, that commercial mixes often are very salty.
  • Speaking of salt, we generally use the Kosher variety. This is coarser than regular table salt, so it doesn’t seem as “salty” by volume. If you’re using table salt, reduce the amount specified for seasoning the onions (Step 8) by about half.
  • We sometimes add Worchestershire sauce to this dish. If that idea appeals to you, try adding a tablespoon when you add the other spices (Step 12).
  • If you use an immersion (stick) blender to break down the beans (Step 15), use one with a metal shaft. If your immersion blender has a plastic shaft, the hot liquid may crack it. Ask us how we know.
  • You can add more (or less) rice than the amount specified in the recipe. Less rice of course means fewer calories. BTW, we cook the rice separately rather than dumping it into the soup pot to cook so that it doesn’t absorb too much of the soup broth.
  • Red beans and rice is a Creole dish, not Cajun. Creole refers to “people descended from the colonial settlers in Louisiana, especially those of French and Spanish descent.” By contrast, Cajuns are descended from Acadians—“French-speakers from Acadia in what are now the Canadian Maritimes.” For information on the difference between the two cuisines, see our conversation below.
Red Beans and Rice Soup with green scallion garnish

Soup’s On!

“So I can never remember the difference between Cajun and Creole food,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs, spooning her Red Beans and Rice Soup.

“Well, Cajun food tends to be rustic,” I said, between slurps. “While Creole is more European-influenced. Creole dishes tend to be a bit fancier, and are quite common in New Orleans restaurants.”

“Either way, this is yummy stuff,” said Mrs K R. “All the flavor of the mother dish, but not nearly as heavy.”

“Yup,” I said. “In fact, the flavor seems even more souped up than the original version.”

“I’m going to ignore that pun,” said Mrs K R.

“But you appreciated my soup-to-nuts explanation of Cajun and Creole cuisines?” I said.

“Keep that up, and you’ll be in the soup,” said Mrs K R.

Duck soup, anyone?

You may also enjoy reading about:
Red Beans and Rice
Chicken and Andouille Gumbo
Winter Squash, Corn, and Bacon Chowder
Chunky Pork and Sweet Potato Chili
Celery Root (Celeriac) Rémoulade
Fennel Soup with Shrimp and Beans
Or check out the index for more recipes

134 comments:

  1. THIS IS PERFECT!!!!! I've been stuck in a food rut and craving red beans and rice but not wanting it to be that "heavy". I will be making this over the weekend!!!! Thank YOU!!!!

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    1. Hi Army Mum, this dish has all of the flavor, but not as many calories as the original. Just not as heavy a dish. Thanks for the comment.

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    2. This is really is perfect for the crazy polar vortex weather we've been experiencing. there's a European butcher shop n my hood that sells ham bones and they're pretty good, not nearly as good as one from a ham we would have but better than not having one. I have had immersion blenders that are plastic (Wolfgang Puck) but now I have the Cuisinart which is excellent. I've never liked the blenders with plastic vessels either. I have to ask: how hot was your soup to crack the stick blender?
      https://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/

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    3. Hi Eva, the soup was simmering when we cracked the immersion blender -- so about 212 F, I'd guess. Really a surprise to us -- I forget the brand, but it was a good one. Subsequently I read about this happening to other people -- seems like a real conceptional design mistake. Anyway, the weather has been awful lately, hasn't it? This soup is an antidote! Thanks for the comment.

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  2. I love soups like that: with beans and rice, and whole bunch of spices. And that sausage look so delicious too!

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    1. Hi Julia, that andouille sausage has wonderful flavor! It makes the whole dish. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  3. This reminds me of the worst date in my life. I met this man in Knoxville at a business leaders conference and we really hit it off. He invited me to his house for red beans and rice and he said it was the best anyone could get in Knoxville.

    He came to my house and picked me up and just as we were getting to his house he said, "Now duck down so nobody sees you because it would be difficult if my wife found out I was entertaining while she was out of town."

    Thankfully we weren't far from my house and I asked him to pull over so I could duck down and when he did I got out and walked home.

    I haven't eaten red beans and rice without laughing. I never thought to ask him if he was married - in my world you didn't go on a date if you already had one!

    This looks great!

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    1. Hi Maureen, wow, what a story! And I can see why you'd always think of it when eating red beans and rice. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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    2. Great story, Maureen. Now that's what I'll think of, too, when I eat red beans and rice.

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    3. Glad my husband never lived in Knoxville!

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    4. LOL LOL LOL! It's okay, Abbe, I didn't go to his house. :)

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  4. Well, this is a damn good idea!!!! The heaviness of the normal red beans and rice is exactly why we don't make it but once a year. We're both trying to cut back on white rice so I love the soup idea that seems to do just that! I bet one could even use brown rice in this recipe. Great idea and a great looking bowl of soup!!! (Just read Maureen's story - ha ha). Thanks John!!

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    1. Hi MJ, isn't Maureen's story great?! And brown rice would be perfect in this. Thanks for the comment.

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  5. Hi John , again you saved the day , my folks was asking for red beans and rice and they also love soup anytime of the year . I read your delicious post and put some red beans in soak for overnight . Andouille sausage puts this soup over the top .
    Thanks for the recipe and you betcha it will be on the dinner table tomorrow with some hot water cornbread . Thank you so much for sharing ... Pinning this one ~Nee~ :)

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    1. Hi Nee, love hot water cornbread! And andouille sausage is terrific, isn't it? Thanks for the comment.

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  6. Anything with rice an beans is my cup of tea/soup. The combo is a staple in my home country, something that I grew up eating and enjoy a lot. I visited NOLA 2-3 years ago and fell in love with its full of flavor cuisine. Mardi gras also coincides with Brazilian carnival which arrive soon.

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    1. Hi Denise, after Carnival in Brazil, New Orelan's version (Mardi Gras) has to be second best! Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Great soup recipe, John.....Thanks, :)

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    1. Hi Pat, you're welcome! And thanks for the comment.

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  8. This is a brilliant idea, I do love red beans and rice but I think the soup version makes it even more appealing! And I wouldn't think of eating it without my trusty bottle of hot sauce right alongside :)

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    1. Hi Sue, we love red beans and rice, but it's such a heavy dish. This isn't exactly diet food, but it's much more manageable. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  9. Hi John,
    Wow! What a fabulous soup. It really is a hearty soup that fills you up with ingredients that are so good and good for you as well. Love the beans, rice, and the andouille sausage. Wish I had a bowl of this spectacular soup right now...Thanks for sharing, have a great week...
    Dottie :)

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    1. Hi Dottie, isn't this a nice soup? Tons and tons of flavor. But anything with andouille has a lot of flavor! Thanks for the comment.

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  10. I am a soup girl and I couldn't resist any kind of soup! This looks really flavorful.

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    1. Hi Peachy, we really love soup, too, particularly at this time of the year. So comforting! Thanks for the comment.

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  11. Hi John,

    We are watching a little of man vs food here recently and my son has learned that the food from New Orleans and Texas are usually rich and comes in big portions!!! He will be shocked to see your soup... This may be a too light to be the New Orleans kind of soup but this is the kind that I really like.

    Zoe

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    1. Hi Zoe, I'll bet your son will love this once he has a taste! Not as filling as some of the traditional dishes, but full of flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. Hi John,
    In all my years of making red beans and rice, the only time I have "souped" it up was when there were leftovers, lol...What a wonderful idea! I'm one of the few people I know who usually has a ham bone in the freezer. I even save the "scraps" from those ham slices Marion likes so much. She never eats the whole thing and I don't care for them at all:)

    I love the ingredients in this soup John. The peppers are new to me. I'll remember that. I usually soak beans over night. For some reason that quick method just doesn't seem to work for me. I get impatient I think:)

    Thank you so much for sharing, John...Unfortunately, but thankfully before it was taken out of the freezer, I wasn't able to make the brisket that I am still "dying" for. Marion is boycotting beef these days. Now I have to wait until company is coming or she goes back to liking beef, lol...However, it is in the freezer waiting patiently:) Thanks again, John...

    Oh, one more thing. What about Gullah dishes? (not sure that's spelled correctly) In between the Creole and Cajun? Just wondering because I've been wanting to research it for a while now...

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    1. Hi Louise, too bad Marion is off beef! But I'm sure that'll change. Don't know much about Gullah dishes -- aren't they more South Carolina and Georgia? Low country dishes that are African-influenced? Need to look that up! Thanks for the comment.

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  13. I love your down home recipes lately and this goes straight to my heart. My dear dad loved beans and rice more than anything. What a walk down memory lane. Deeeeelicious.

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    1. Hi Karen, beans and rice work so well together, don't they? And I love down home recipes! Thanks for the comment.

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  14. This dish is beautifully presented. I love beans in any soup, they taste good and you know they are good for you. Your andouille sausage may be hard to find in coastal New South Wales but we have similar to kielbasa. The spices, tabasco and possibly Worcestershire are all gorgeous additions and would create a haven of flavour. Very nice John :)

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    1. Hi Merryn, kielbasa really works well in this soup -- although of course you could try your hand at making your own andouille. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. I really like the idea of turning red beans and rice into a soup. It's looks really flavorful and delicious (and still hearty!).

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    1. Amy, this isn't quite as hearty as the original version, but still hearty enough. ;-) Not to mention really full-flavored! Thanks for the comment.

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  16. I'm thinking we're going to combine Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras this weekend. Perfect. I always love the "education" you share. (And, of course, your conversations with Mrs. Kitchen Riffs.)

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    1. Hi Rosemary, that's what we're planning to do! Lot of holidays always arrive more or less at the same time at this point in the year (there's Chinese New Year, too!). Thanks for the comment.

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  17. Red Beans and Rice is down-home simplicity at its best. I haven't made it yet this winter, but now I need to. Great recipe, John!

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    1. Hi Judy, love this stuff! Just such a nice flavor, don't you think? Thanks for the comment.

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  18. It looks and sounds hearty and delicious!

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    1. Hi Pam, it really is delish. And reasonably healthy. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. My chef friend from New Orleans makes her home version of this and I absolutely love it. I will be trying your light version. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe.

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    1. Hi Ansh, I'll bet your friend's version is awesome! And this soupy one is pretty darn good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  20. Love this! Red beans and rice is one of my favorites, but it's sooooo heavy I don't make it very often. This recipe would let me enjoy those flavors a little more often. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Pamela, we don't make red beans and rice often for the same reason -- just too heavy. This is just right. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  21. I love unattended recipes :) and your light version is worth the try. So convenient to me these days. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Amira, easy cooking always works for me! My favorite kind of recipe. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  22. This looks so good, great flavours for a cold weekend lunch.

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    1. Hi Caroline, this really is perfect for cold weather! Thanks for the comment.

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  23. I am a soup lover. I eat a LOT of soup. I love how it gets better the second day. I am with Amira that unattended recipes are WONDERFUL. I am making White Russians this weekend by the way----thank you.

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    1. Hi Carol, hope you enjoy the White Russian! I know you will. ;-) And this soup is really worth trying sometime! Thanks for the comment.

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  24. I'm up for just about any soup right now since I'm a little under the weather. Wish I had a big bowl right now.

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    1. Hi Laura, this soup would probably perk you right up! Thanks for the comment.

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  25. I think you are trying to win Manservant's heart. He loves red beans and rice and I usually do a similar version, at least as far as the spices go. Mine turns out to be more of a stew than a soup. First had it when his Mom served it to me. I won't tell you what I thought it looked like. Let's just say yours is way more attractive. You are reminding me that it is that time of year to get this party started!

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    1. Hi Abbe, we usually do the stew-like version, but really wanted to lighten it up. Really, this is just as good. Manservant would like it. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. This is right up my alley. Beans and rice are a major part of my diet--so healthful and economical. Great idea turning it into soup. Thanks, Rocquie

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    1. Hi Rocquie, beans and rice are a classic combo for good reason -- just taste so good together. We eat a lot of beans, too. Thanks for the comment.

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  27. I can never say no any soup I would say. Loved everything about this soup. Especially kidney beans and rice will make it filling.

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    1. Hi Shibi, we're soup-crazed too! And love beans in soup -- such a satisfying flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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    1. Hi Kristi, they're our kind! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. I can definitely imagine this red bean and rice soup filling me up nice and good for the whole day :D
    Delicious recipe!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. Hi Uru, this really is nice. Your brother would probably love it! Thanks for the comment.

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  30. love the idea of this red beans and rice soup, because a) less calories is what i'm going for right now, and b) i'm freezing today for obvious reasons (why again does it have to be 18 degrees out when it was JUST 65 degrees the other day?)...this would be perfect.

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    1. Hi Shannon, we're actually unfreezing some of this for tonight -- it's nippy weather! And this is perfect for that. Thanks for the comment.

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  31. Thanks for letting me know the difference between Cajun and Creole dishes - I had no clue. This really does look like a clean and warming soup and good for your current weather. I can imagine this warming you up in no-time xx

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    1. Hi Charlie, it's cold here today! So we had some of this from the freezer. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  32. Where has the time gone? I can't believe Mardi Gras and Lent start next week! Love your twist on red beans and rice---I'd pick the soup over the traditional version every time :)

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    1. Hi Liz, time really does fly, doesn't it? Never can squeeze in all the recipes I want to! And I like the soup version of this better than the traditional dish, too. Thanks for the comment.

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  33. this is a true comfort food...it will taste delicious with red beans and rice together...made us remember rajma chawal(kidney beans chili and rice)....this soup is a winner,thanks so much :-)

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    1. Hi Kumar, I'm going to have to look up rajma chawal -- I love Indian bean/legume/pulse dishes! Thanks for the comment.

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  34. Great idea of serving this to a crowd. Apart from being tasty, this dish is also very filling! Thanks for this red bean riff, John!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

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    1. Hi Julie & Alesah, this dish is perfect for your next big party. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  35. John, I love your idea of read beans and rice soup. Bravo and thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Lea Ann, I love this dish! So much flavor. And this version is a bit lighter, which is nice. Thanks for your comment.

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  36. I enjoy red beans and rice but have never had it in soup form. This sounds quite tasty especially with the addition of the sausage.

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    1. Hi VIcki, isn't this nice? A fun twist on an old standby. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  37. Hahaha - y'all are too funny - "the flavor seems even more souped up than the original version.” and your "soup-to-nuts explanation of Cajun and Creole cuisines" had me LOL!
    I happen to fall under that nuts category as I had no clue of the difference either!
    This Red Beans and Rice Soup is a fantastic idea!

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    1. Hi Shashi, isn't this a nice soup? Tons of flavor, and somewhat fewer calories. Winner! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  38. Oh, yeah! My first thought was NOLA when I read red beans and rice! Love the dish and want to try your version of it, with andouille sausage, of course. :-) It's hearty food made for this bitter cold windy weather that brings up visions of NOLA! Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. Hi Pam, isn't NOLA a wonderful place to eat? I haven't been there in far too long -- need to visit again. And eat, of course. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  39. This is one of the few dishes I could eat in NOLA, and it was the best! I'm so prepared to make this myself very ,very soon. Happy weekend, John.

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    1. HI Ala, best thing about this dish is it makes loads -- so you can freeze the leftovers, and have them for a quick meal. Useful for busy grad students. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  40. I love red beans and rice! And I love the soup versions too, this looks SO good. When we lived in Texas, a nearby farm would have fresh beans, pintos, creamers, black eyed, so I would always make this with fresh beans.
    I could do with a bowl right now, I'm outside at the park and freezing!

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    1. Hi Nazneen, fresh beans are so great, aren't they? I see fresh black-eyed peas, but not the others. Would love to cook with them! Thanks for the comment.

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  41. Perffect Mardi Gras recipe....my mouth waters at this beautifully plated dish. I adore Andouille and firmly believe it makes anything taste divine. One of those sausages you feel tempted to pop into mouth while cooking, hahaha! Thanks for posting this :)

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    1. Hi Minnie, who can resist stealing a bit or two of andouille while cooking? I sure can't! Thanks for the comment.

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  42. OMG, that looks SO good! I just want to dig a spoon into all that. So comforting and hearty looking.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, this is good! As in really good. ;-) You'd love it. Thanks for the comment.

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  43. Hi John, one of these days I'd like to visit New Orleans during the Mardi Gras, looks like a lot of fun. Love hearty and flavorful soups like this one, looks delicious!

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    1. Hi Cheri, I've never been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras either, but would love to go! Thanks for the comment.

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  44. What a terrific recipe and great idea to lighten up a classic. I'm going to share this on my weekend recipe roundup. It looks fantastic, and as you say, hearty and satisfying.

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    1. Hi Kristi, that't be so nice of you to share this! It's really a good dish. And lighter than the original -- something I definitely need! Thanks for the comment.

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  45. Mmmm....as I am nursing a cold today, this looks like just the comfort food I need!

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    1. Hi Debra, sorry about your cold! This would be perfect therapy for it. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  46. We are heading to a Mardis Gras party tomorrow.... a few days before the actual date! They always serve a fabulous red beans and rice dish. I've never made it. This looks great!

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    1. Hi Kathy, red beans and rice is a great dish! And easy to make. This isn't the traditional dish, of course, but awfully tasty. Thanks for the comment!

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  47. This recipe I must share with my father - ALL the ingredients he ADORES in ONE soup!!!

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    1. Hi GiGi, fun dish, isn't it? Your dad will love it! Thanks for the comment.

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    1. Hi Kiran, it is. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  49. Never had rice soup before, tempting to try.....
    Simply damn delicious!!!
    Dedy@Dentist Chef

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    1. Hi Dedy, definitely worth a try! It's good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  50. What a gorgeous and hearty soup! Would love to try a big bowl of this!

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    1. Hi Asmita, it's going to be cold here, so I'd love a bowl too! Thanks for the comment.

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  51. I can't get enough soup recipes this winter. This one looks fantastic! And thanks for the explanation of Creole vs. Cajun - I can never remember the difference either.

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    1. Hi Beth, we love soup too, and make it all the time during the winter. This is particularly nice -- tons of flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  52. I love the idea of turning red beans into a soup! This dish is one of my favorite cajun food traditions. Happy Mardi Gras!

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    1. Hi Lisa, isn't this a great dish? And it makes a wonderful soup. We love this! Thanks for the comment.

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  53. What a nice hearty delicious comfort dish you got there, love all of that flavours

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    1. Hi Raymund, isn't this nice? So full of flavor! Thanks for the comment.

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  54. LOVE CREOLE FOOD! As soon as I read that, I was all over it. You make me want to dive into rice and beans. I rarely say that :) But the flavours you put into your cooking is just what I love! You make the ordinary extraordinary!! :)

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    1. Hi Nagi, Creole food is wonderful, isn't it? Love the flavors! And I love this. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  55. Looking at your pictures is making my mouth water. This sounds wonderful!

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    1. Hi Chris, this is wonderful stuff! It's snowing here today, and i wish we had some in the freezer. Time to make another batch! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  56. I love those big chunks of sausage! It looks incredibly flavourful. Great recipe as always John.

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    1. Hi Amanda, sausage calls my name every time! And andouille is among the best -- love the stuff. Thanks for the comment.

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  57. This definitely looks like a good, hearty and flavorful soup! A perfect meal for a cold winter day.

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    1. Hi Pamela, we've got snow on the ground, so this would be wonderful for dinner tonight! Thanks for the comment.

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  58. I love soups around this time of year (especially in these negative temperatures!) Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Hi Ashley, our temperatures usually don't get as cold as yours, but we'll be below zero tonight. :-( Thanks for the comment.

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  59. This is such a heart and tasty soup...I love the idea of adding rice to soups...but somehow always forget...
    Thanks for the inspiration John!

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    1. Hi Juliana, this really is hearty -- just a lovely dish. And very warming and soothing in cold weather! Thanks for the comment.

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  60. Mmm, those sausages in the soup look almost like peach slices. I wonder if you could also add peaches to this dish (just kidding, please don't 'put me in the soup' for asking that question)! I suppose you could use canned red beans but then again it might not taste as good?

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    1. Hi Fran, never thought to add fruit to this dish. And doubt if I ever will. :D Canned beans should work, although because you don't need to cook it as long, the flavor won't develop quite as much. Should be fine, though. Thanks for the comment.

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  61. I happen to have a hambone. Did not know the difference between creole and Cajun - thought maybe one was Native-American based. Hard to do low- carb but making it soupier helps. And how this warms during our current arctic blast!

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    1. HI Claudia, definitely carbs in this dish, although the soupier version does help. How nice to have a hambone on hand! I envy you! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  62. This soup looks so warm and comforting and perfect for the freezing weather we’re having! What a delicious recipe :)

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    1. Hi Dana, it really is great for cold weather! It's frigid here today, so more of this is in order. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  63. I haven't been to the south yet but always curious about Cajun and Creole food that I hear. This soup sounds delicious. I love that each ingredients is very flavorful in the soup. I've been eating soups and light food for the past 2 weeks and this looks so good right now!

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    1. Hi Nami, New Orleans has wonderful food! You definitely need to visit sometime. But some of the food is a bit heavy, so bring your appetite! Thanks for the comment.

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  64. Great idea John; I do love red beans and rice and this is a perfect use of leftovers; which I always have a lot of!

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    1. Hi Barb, this soup really has wonderful flavor. It's become one of our favorites! Thanks for the comment.

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