Make Ahead

White Bean and Sausage Soup

May 15, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves 10-12
Author Notes

I can do cheap. I raised three girls, a large part of the time as a single parent, and our house was the one where everyone hung out, and consequently got fed. So I learned to make big pots of soup and stew that would feed a horde of hungry girls and even hungrier boyfriends. This one, unfortunately, I didn't learn until after the girls were grown, but it would certainly have been a favorite, as it is now that I have more money and fewer mouths to feed. I figure it comes in at close to 50 cents a serving. You can use most any kind of smoked sausage, or fresh Italian hot sausage. - Kayb —Kayb

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound navy or great northern beans (I prefer navy), soaked overnight
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cans diced tomatos
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, or fresh hot Italian sausage
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced oregano
  • salt and black pepper
  1. If using fresh Italian sausage, remove it from the casings and brown it, breaking up big chunks. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook diced onion and carrots in olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, until onions are soft and translucent. Add garlic. Cook another minute or so, until fragrant. If using smoked sausage, slice it in 1/4 inch slices and add it to skillet to brown slightly.
  3. Add tomatos, meat (if using the Italian sausage), and beans, and enough water to cover surface of beans by about 2 inches. Stir in oregano and thyme.
  4. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for about an hour. Add more water if needed. Test and add salt and black pepper if needed.
  5. Stir in chopped basil, and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve with a good, crusty Italian bread.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sagegreen
  • Kayb
  • Angel
  • Sophia52
I'm a business professional who learned to cook early on, and have expanded my tastes and my skills as I've traveled and been exposed to new cuisines and new dishes. I love fresh vegetables, any kind of protein on the grill, and breakfasts that involve fried eggs with runny yolks. My recipes tend toward the simple and the Southern, with bits of Asia or the Mediterranean or Mexico thrown in here and there. And a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a float in the lake, as pictured, is a pretty fine lunch!

6 Reviews

Angel December 27, 2011
I made this a few days ago and was disappointed. I didn't have italian sausage so I used a nice smoked sausage as suggested, but I found the soup really lacking in flavour. Perhaps with the fresh italian sausage it would be more flavourful.
Kayb December 28, 2011
Y'know, it's funny; I find that some beans -- and I just use grocery store white beans -- seem to "soak up" more flavorings than do others, and some batches of soup I need to add more seasoning than others; Also depends on how spicy your smoked sausage is. I do prefer hot Italian sausage in mine, because of the extra spice it adds. Sorry your experience with it wasn't as good as it might have been.
Sophia52 May 17, 2011
This looks delish! What size cans of diced tomatoes do you use?
Kayb May 17, 2011
Sorry -- should have specified! The 14.5 or 15-oz cans (or one 28-oz can).
Sagegreen May 15, 2011
Simple and delicious, and inexpensive!
Kayb May 15, 2011
Thanks, Sagegreen. I just noticed I failed to put the numeral in front of the sausage ingredient -- fixed now -- it's one pound of sausage. Amazing how the hot Italian sausage flavors the soup!