I hope that you've got some fabulous Mardi Gras plans on your calendar tomorrow. We do! We won't make it to New Orleans to celebrate, but we are attending a lively Mardi Gras celebration at Luke San Antonio on the Riverwalk. Luke is part of Louisiana Chef John Besh's restaurant group -- so we'll get to enjoy a taste of NOLA right here in Texas! If you're celebrating at home, fire up some zydeco music, pop on some Mardi Gras beads...and make a simple, delicious dinner at home! I made this Red Beans & Rice-Sausage Soup for our Mardi Gras dinner last year, and it's so good I wanted to share the recipe again this year. It's an economical and delicious meal-in-a-bowl. If you're like me and your weeknights are hectic, this easy-to-make soup will make a perfect Mardi Gras celebration dinner.
This hearty soup starts with a package of Zatarains' red beans and rice mix, and it's ready to eat in less than an hour. Most of that time is hands off while the soup simmers on the stove, so you have time to do other things. I love quick meals during the work week, so I was thrilled to find a recipe for Andouille Red Bean Soup on Zatarains' website. I tweaked their recipe a bit, using a combination of bulk pork sausage and smoked sausage. If you can get your hands on andouille, definitely use that instead of the smoked sausage. I also subbed low-sodium chicken stock for water and added a can of petite diced tomatoes for additional flavor and texture. This recipe made a large pot of soup -- we enjoyed four large bowls of soup and still had a large container left to freeze to enjoy on another busy weeknight!
Red Beans & Rice-Sausage Soup
- 1 tbs. olive oil
- 6 ounces diced smoked sausage
- 4 ounces bulk pork sausage
- 1 cup diced onion
- ½ cup diced bell pepper
- ½ cup sliced celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 14-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp. hot sauce (I like Crystal and Tabasco best)
- 1 package Zatarains Red Beans and Rice
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced