Italian Sausage and White Bean Soup
This is a nice hearty and meaty bean soup. Generally I use navy beans in this recipe but in Italy I usually make it with Cannellini beans. Diced carrots and celery can also be added once the soup is blended if desired. A nice crisp crostini that has been drizzled with extra virgin olive oil is a great side for the soup.
Italian Sausage and White Bean SoupCourse: SoupsCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
1 pound dried white beans
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 slice of bacon, small diced
1/2 pound ground Italian pork sausage
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 large bay leaf
Small pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 quart chicken stock
1 quart veal stock (or beef stock)
2 cups of chopped Escarole (1-inch pieces)
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup oil cured olives, pitted (optional)
Crisp croutons or Crostini (optional)
- Rinse beans and pick out any severely discolored beans or debris. Place beans in a bowl and cover with plenty of cold water and refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight.
- Drain water from beans and rinse. Place beans in large pot and cover with water by about 3-inches. Cook uncovered over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until water begins to boil.
- Turn off the heat, cover the pot and let beans sit for one hour. After one hour, drain beans and set aside.
- Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and bacon. Render fat from bacon, cooking until crispy. Remove bacon from pot and set aside in a bowl.
- Add ground sausage to the pot and cook until browned. Remove sausage from pot and place in bowl with bacon.
- Add chopped onions to the pot and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic to the pot and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add herbs, white wine and vinegar and cook 10 minutes, until liquid is reduced by about half.
- Add the stock and beans and simmer until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. With a slotted spoon, remove about half of the beans and set aside.
- Blend the soup until smooth using an immersion blender.
- Add chopped escarole, reserved beans, sausage and bacon to soup and cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with oil cured olives and crisp croutons or crostini and serve.