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!
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.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, peel the garlic and dice it or slice it finely.
- 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.
- Wash the celery rib, peel it, and cut it into fine dice.
- Once the onion has cooked for about 6 minutes (Step 2), add the chopped garlic, jalapeño peppers, and celery. Cook for another two minutes.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
“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
Red Beans and Rice Soup
Fennel Soup with Shrimp and Beans
Winter Squash, Corn, and Bacon Chowder
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