Friday, November 13, 2015

Weekend Gourmet Flashback: Stay Warm with Red Beans & Rice-Sausage Soup #soup #heartymeals #spicy

The weather is finally nice and cool here in Texas -- it's hard to believe that Thanksgiving and the busy holiday season are nearly here! If you're like me and your weeknights are short on time, you prefer quick, filling dinners. My Red Beans & Rice-Sausage soup is built around a package of spicy red beans and rice mix, and it's ready in under an hour. With the addition of two kinds of sausage, it cooks up thick and rich, with a smoky-spicy flavor that will knock your socks off!  I was thrilled to find a recipe for Andouille Red Bean Soup at the Zatarains website. I tweaked their recipe to suit our tastes and whipped up a pot of this hearty, delicious soup. I used a combination of smoked sausage and browned bulk pork sausage, subbed low-sodium chicken stock for water, and added a can of petite diced tomatoes instead of corn since that's what I had on hand. This recipe made enough for four large bowls of soup -- along with a container leftover to freeze for us to enjoy for dinner on a particular busy evening. That makes this soup a sure-fire winner!
Red Beans & Rice-Sausage Soup

adapted from Zatarains
  • 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
  • 1 tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 14-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce (I like Crystal and Tabasco best)
  • 1 package Red Beans and Rice mix [NOTE: I used Zatarains]
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
Step 1: Heat a Dutch oven over med-high heat. Add the olive oil and the two sausages. Cook until the sausages are browned. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Sautee until the veggies are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Step 2: Add the garlic and oregano to the pot. Give it a stir to combine and cook until fragrant. Add the petite diced tomatoes – juice and all – and hot sauce. Give a good stir to combine. Finally, add the red beans and rice mix and stock. Stir well to combine and bring to a boil.
Step 3: Cover, reduce heat to med-low, and simmer the soup for 30 minutes. By then, the rice will be cooked and the beans have softened. Just before serving, add the green onions and stir to combine. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with more green onion and hot sauce, if desired.
Everyone who tries this soup just loves it! It's thick and hearty, with a nice smoky flavor from the red beans and rice mix and the sausage. The consistency was perfect, and we thought the amount of spice was spot on. If you prefer your food milder, feel free to leave out the hot sauce. If you like it on the spicier end (like Michael does), simply add extra hot sauce to taste. The perfect partner for this soup is hot buttered cornbread -- or crusty French bread.

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