Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Cajun-Spiced White Bean and Andouille Soup

Cajun-Spiced White Bean and Andouille Soup

Warm your winter with this tasty, satisfying dish

Need to warm up your winter table? Soup is your friend.

This one has traditional Cajun spices and andouille sausage, so you know it’s full of flavor. Plus it includes protein-rich beans and hearty greens, so it’s a complete meal in a bowl. And if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand, it’s easy to make substitutions (we’ll tell you how).

Time to get your Cajun on. La soupe est servie!



Cajun-Spiced White Bean and Andouille Soup

Recipe: Cajun-Spiced White Bean and Andouille Soup

We made this soup with dried white beans, but you could substitute canned (see Notes). Or use another bean entirely. Kidney, pinto, or garbanzo beans would all be interesting choices.

Don’t have andouille sausage on hand? Just substitute another spicy sausage (like kielbasa). And use any dark green of your choice. We used Swiss chard, but mustard greens, kale, or spinach would all work (see Notes).

Prep time for this dish is about 15 minutes. If you use dried beans, cooking time is 1½ to 2 hours (you can cut that to under an hour by substituting canned beans).

This recipe yields about 8 hearty servings.

Ingredients
  • 1½ cups dried white beans (or substitute; see Notes)
  • 5 cups water (may substitute chicken stock)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ~½ teaspoon kosher salt (see Notes)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 1 celery rib
  • additional 6 cups water (or to taste, depending on how thin you want the soup to be; may substitute chicken stock)
  • 10 to 16 ounces andouille sausage (may substitute another spicy sausage)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  • ~1 pound Swiss chard or other dark, leafy green (see Notes)
  • jalapeño slices or chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
Procedure
  1. Pick through the beans to remove any stones or grit, then rinse the beans. Add them to a large cooking pot (one that holds at least 4 quarts). Add 5 cups water or chicken stock. Bring the beans to a simmer, then cook for 1 hour.
  2. At the hour mark, peel the onion and cut it into dice of ½ inch or smaller. Heat the oil in a frying pan, then add the chopped onion and salt to taste. Sauté the onion for 6 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the garlic and dice it or slice it finely. 
  4. Wash the jalapeño peppers and cut them lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the ribs and seeds (be careful – the oil on these is hot, so keep fingers away from your eyes). Cut the jalapeño peppers into fine dice. Then wash your hands with soap and water to remove the hot jalapeño oil from your skin.
  5. Wash the celery rib, peel it, and cut it into fine dice.
  6. Once the onion has cooked for about 6 minutes (Step 2), add the chopped garlic, jalapeño peppers, and celery. Cook for another two minutes.
  7. Scrape the contents of the frying pan (the onion mixture) into the soup pot. Add the additional 6 cups of water or stock (more if you want a thinner soup – see Notes).
  8. Cut the sausage into rounds measuring about ½ inch (or a bit less). Add the sausage rounds to the frying pan and sauté them over medium heat until the sausage starts to color (a few minutes). Add the sautéed sausage to the soup pot.
  9. Add the herbs and spices (oregano, thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and celery seed) to the soup pot. Simmer the soup for half an hour. At that time, check to see if the beans are tender (if not, keep cooking until they are).
  10. Meanwhile, wash the greens, cut out the ribs if desired, and chop the greens into bite-size pieces. Add the chopped greens to the soup pot for the last 15 minutes of cooking. Taste the soup at this point and add more salt if necessary.
  11. When ready to serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a slice or two of jalapeño pepper or some chopped parsley, if desired.
Cajun-Spiced White Bean and Andouille Soup

Notes
  • We like to serve this soup with freshly baked corn bread.
  • The herbs and spices we use are those traditionally included in commercial Cajun/Creole seasoning. So instead of using the individual ingredients, you could substitute 1 to 1½ tablespoons of a commercial blend (we like the Tony Chachere’s brand). But be aware that commercial seasoning blends usually contain a lot of salt.
  • You can make your own (salt-less) Cajun/Creole mix. We provide instructions in our post on Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo
  • Speaking of salt, we always use kosher salt for cooking. Because kosher salt flakes are larger than those of regular table salt, it’s less salty by volume. If you’re using regular table salt, use about half of what we recommend.
  • But, as always when adding salt or other flavorings, season to your taste, not ours.
  • Canned or homemade chicken stock works well in this soup. Or you can just stir in some chicken base (generally available in the soup aisle at your supermarket). After opening a jar of chicken base, keep it in the refrigerator.
  • We didn’t soak the beans for this soup. Dried, unsoaked white beans cook in about two hours. If you soak them, they’ll cook in about one hour. 
  • Be aware that if you substitute dried, unsoaked kidney, pinto, or garbanzo beans, they probably will take an extra hour or two to cook.
  • Want to use canned beans instead of dried? Here’s your Step 1: Use three 15-ounce cans of beans. Open the cans and pour the beans into a colander or large strainer. Rinse off the gunk the beans are stored in. Then add the beans to a large cooking pot, add 8 cups of water or stock, and place the cooking pot on medium stovetop heat. Proceed to Step 2.
  • Andouille sausage is particularly tasty in this dish, but any spicy sausage will work.
  • We used Swiss chard as the green for this soup (mainly because we have a lot of it in our garden). But any dark green will work. If you use kale or mustard greens, they’ll need to cook about 10 to 15 minutes longer than Swiss chard.
  • Onion, bell pepper, and celery are the traditional “trinity” of Louisiana cooking. We substituted jalapeño for bell peppers. Feel free to substitute back if you prefer.
  • When serving this soup, we often place a bottle of hot sauce on the table so those who want a spicier dish can add as much liquid heat as they desire.
Cajun-Spiced White Bean and Andouille Soup

Sight Lines

“Hearty soup,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Just what the doctor ordered to help you recover from your eye surgery.”

“A detached retina is no fun,” I said. “Thank goodness it seems to be healing well. Probably helped that we got to our ophthalmologist promptly, so they could schedule surgery for the next morning.”

“The surgeon got that retina reattached in the blink of an eye,” said Mrs K R.

“But after surgery, I couldn’t do much of anything for a couple weeks so the eye would heal properly. Had to be a couch potato,” I said. “Got plenty of shut eye, though.”

“Yup, and I kept my eye on you,” said Mrs K R. “To make sure you didn’t exert yourself too much.”

“That was like the Eye of Sauron,” I said. “You seemed to see all.”

“Thought I might have to grow eyes in the back of my head,” said Mrs K R.

“Hey, I was great at staying still and following orders!” I said.

“Especially when you heard my footsteps approaching,” said Mrs K R.

True. Good thing my eardrums didn’t detach.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo
Red Beans and Rice
Shrimp Creole
Red Beans and Rice Soup
Fennel Soup with Shrimp and Beans
Winter Squash, Corn, and Bacon Chowder
Or check out the index for more

76 comments:

  1. Happy return to life as it should be lived -- may your future be full of soup and everything else that's good.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, what an awesome comment! Thanks so much. :-)

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  2. This is exactly what I NEED in this cold chilly day!

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    1. Hi Angie, you DO need this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Replies
    1. Hi Pamela, andouille is such good stuff, isn't it? I can never resist! Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Y'all are so cute!!:) I'm so happy to hear you are recovering well from surgery. Surprise surgery is never fun. I love bean soups and the flavors in this one sound terrific. I will definitely be making this one and soon, John. YUM!

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    1. Hi Marcelle, my eyesight is getting much better, thank goodness. This soup probably helped. :D Thanks for the comment.

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  5. What a great idea for a weeknight dinner. It has everything that we love.

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    1. Hi Denise, isn't this nice? And SO GOOD! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. This would definitely warm you up on a cold rainy day. It looks terrific.

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    1. Hi Pam, love nice comforting dishes like this at this time of the year. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. It’s very gray outside right now so all I can think about for dinner is soup. This one sounds perfect! PS, so glad you’re back and recovering well :)

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    1. Hi Kelsie, the eye thing was a scare, but I'm on the mend. :-) And this would make a terrific dinner for you! Thanks for the comment.

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  8. Yum! I love the flavor profile in this soup. This is perfect weather for a hot, steaming bowl of soup. And the cornbread is perfect! :)

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    1. Hi Pat, cornbread is wonderful with this soup! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  9. Oh the soup looks delicious and full of flavors. A bowl with certainly laissez les bon temps rouler! And glad you are recovering well. I had guessed detached retina, I know a couple of people who went through it. If Mrs K R eardrums had detached you could have literally said: I see said the blind man to his deaf wife.

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    1. Hi Evelyne, LOL! Things are looking up, thank goodness. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Thanks goodness everything is okay and your recovering well. This soup looks like the perfect combo of flavors to make anyone feel much better. Looks scrumptious and totally perfection paired with the cornbread.

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    1. Hi Cheri, thanks! And yes, this soup is therapeutic. :-)

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  11. It is definitely soup season and this one looks stellar.

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    1. Hi Laura, soup season is our favorite time of the year! Thanks for the comment.

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  12. A beautiful soup and I am glad to hear you are on the upswing and your eye has been well mended. Keep this gorgeous nourishing food happening and you will be deyelighted 8)

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    1. Hi Merryn, groan. :D Thanks for the comment.

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  13. Your post brought a big smile! Happy to hear all is well! That slice of jalapeño grabbed my attention, it really adds a pop of flavor and the warmth we are all craving as we move into winter. A most appealing soup!

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    1. Hi Deb, jalapeño really does add a nice pop of flavor, doesn't it? Love the spice of it! Thanks for the comment.

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  14. well I am ready for a couple of servings of this!! And I am so happy to hear you are healing well, good news!!

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    1. Hi Dahn, it IS good news -- I'm lucky. Lucky to have had this soup to eat, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. Sausage adds the BEST flavor to soups---and the Cajun spices certainly don't hurt! I know this warm streak won't last and this soup recipe will come in handy :) P.S. Glad your surgery was a success!

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    1. Hi Liz, sausage is so good in basically everything, isn't it? And andouille is especially nice -- love its spice. Thanks for the comment.

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  16. So glad you are on the road to recovery. We love any-bean soup. I will add this to our cold day meal.

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    1. Hi Madonna, I'm glad I'm on the road to recovery, too! :D This has terrific flavor -- you'll like. Thanks!

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  17. Glad you are on the path to recovery. Great flavors in this soup. We love a bean and sausage soup in winter.

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    1. Hi Ansh, me too on the surgery. And on loving this soup. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  18. Having a detached retina is no fun, I am glad you are feeling better. I could have some of your delicious soup right now.

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    1. Hi Gerlinde, no fun at all. But things are looking good (so to speak). :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. Glad to hear you're on the mend, John. A nice bowl of hearty soup is indeed just what the doctor ordered...

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    1. Hi Frank, yup, we're following doctor's orders with this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  20. Oh my goodness - a detached retina?!?! So glad you are on the mend now!
    As for this - wow - Cajun spices and andouille sausage make for one delicious concoction - one I'd have a hard time sharing!

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    1. Hi Shashi, cajun spices and andouille make everything better -- even detached retinas! Thanks for the comment.

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  21. Gah! EYE SURGERY?! That would have scared the crap out of me! I am glad you're A-OK and wow, I give eye surgeons (or all of them) just so much credit, it is such an art to be a surgeon!

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    1. Hi GiGi, I wasn't all that happy to have the surgery, but it was the only way to save the vision in my eye. And thus far (knock wood) the recovery has been fantastic -- eyesight is close to what it was before the surgery, and keeps getting better (it takes some time to get back to 100%). Thanks for the comment.

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  22. Well I'm happy to report your photographic eye is as good as ever. Gorgeous soup. GREG

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    1. Hi Greg, gosh, thanks for that kind comment.

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  23. Great looking soup! Love those big white beans!

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    1. Hi Mimi, don't those beans look great? Taste even better. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  24. It is the kind of soup I would love to have, sans sausage though.

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    1. Hi Taruna, this would probably be pretty good without the sausage -- just add more beans, and you'd still have plenty of flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  25. This looks delicious!! I love soups with jalapeno peppers.

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    1. Hi Cathleen, jalapeno is wonderful in anything! But I agree -- really nice in soup. Thanks for the comment.

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  26. Glad to hear your eye surgery went well- next thing you'll want to perhaps try making is "Eye of Newt" soup, (from 'MacBeth! I had a look at your Gumbo spice mix recipe- might just give that a try!

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    1. Hi Fran, Eye of Newt soup would be fun. Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble! :) The jokes one could make!:D Thanks for the comment.

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

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    1. Hi Jeff, yup. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. So glad to read that you are recovering well! Your soup looks delicious too - I always enjoy andouille!

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    1. Hi Amy, andouille is good stuff, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. So happy you've recovered from your surgery! And that you had a good wife to watch you! This soup looks wonderful, like it would cure anything that ailed a soul! :)

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    1. Hi Chris, I do have a good wife. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  31. So glad to hear you are on recovery. This soup spicy and savory is just what you need to get back on course. Take Care

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    1. Hi Bobbi, this soup IS a real restorative. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  32. I am so happy to hear that your surgery went well. Scary stuff. I love this soup. It would be great to have a bowl to warm up with. Love the bean and sausage combo.

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    1. Hi Dawn, that is scary stuff, but things are looking up. And this soup is wonderful! So nice at this time of the year. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  33. Glad you are doing well and you made it in early. Looks like this soup will help continue the cure. And it's easy on the eyes!

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    1. Hi Abbe, soups that's easy on the eyes is definitely needed by me at the moment. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  34. I am glad you recover well and this soup can play a major role towards that direction!

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    1. Hi Katerina, this soup works miracles! :D Well, not really, but it's awfully good! Thanks for the comment.

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  35. Happy to see you back John. Your soup looks delicious and indeed suitable for this time.

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    1. Hi Amira, it's good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  36. My hubby would love this, having been a vegetarian for 30+ years I’m a little clueless when it comes to meat products. Is this sausage like chorizo? If I was to make it with that would it taste good? I like to surprise him with the occasional meat dish but I’m always worried as I never taste the food I’m cooking him so I can’t really experiment I have to stick to the recipe, but I don’t know this sausage. I have seen chorizo in the shops! Thank you :D

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    1. Hi Emma, andouille usually has more garlic than chorizo, and a bit different spicing, but chorizo would be a good substitute. That should work well, I'd think. Let us know how your hubby likes it! Thanks for the comment.

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  37. John I'm loving the look and sound of this one... clean and fresh, and delicious!

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    1. Hi Liz, it's a wonderful dish -- just loaded with flavor! Thanks for the comment.

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  38. This looks very comforting! Perfect for the cold weather

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    1. Hi Raymund, it IS really comforting. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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