Sausage Bean Soup
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Sausage Bean Soup is a super easy recipe to make during the week. Browned pork sausage with canned navy beans and fresh carrots and celery. It’s simple and delicious and perfect for a cool evening served with skillet cornbread.
(Post modified with new photos on 10/10/22.)
When fall arrives, my daughters and I begin to crave this soup recipe shared to me by my cousin Brenda years ago. It’s quick and easy to prepare, which makes it great for weeknight meals.
Rather than dried beans, it uses canned navy beans. And unlike Ham and Beans (which we also love), this soup is not as heavy or filling. Perhaps because of the addition of the vegetables.
Ingredients for Sausage Bean Soup
(See the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)
- lean ground sausage
- sweet onion
- dried thyme leaves
- dried parsley
- chicken stock (or chicken bouillon + water)
- canned navy beans, undrained
- salt and pepper
A Few Tips on Making this Recipe
When shopping for ground sausage, I always look for the lowest fat option I can find. I like using Oldham’s Country Sausage, which has 16 grams of fat. There’s also William’s Country Sausage that boasts a mere 11 grams, if you can find it. (Oddly, I’ve found some of their packages are 16 grams, while others are 11.) With either of these brands, you won’t sacrifice any flavor, and it’s not necessary to drain the fat after cooking. A real plus!
As a time-saver, I will sometimes use frozen mixed vegetables instead of the celery and carrots. Simply substitute them at the same time as the fresh vegetables.
If desired, you may use fresh thyme and/or parsley instead of dried. The guide for using fresh herbs is 1 tablespoon fresh to 1 teaspoon dried.
Another substitution that I often make is to use chicken bouillon and water instead of canned broth. It’s less expensive than buying canned broth or stock, and I think it flavors soups really well. A small container of bouillon cubes also takes up less cupboard or pantry space. Something to think about.
Rather than using navy beans, you may substitute Great Northern Beans, which are very similar. I’ve included a photo of the two so you can see the difference. You’ll note that the navy beans are a bit smaller. Use whichever you have in your cupboard. Or a combination of the two! Either work well.
Instructions for Making This Recipe
To begin, gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.
Prepare the Ingredients
Using a chef’s knife and cutting board, dice the sweet onion, and slice the celery.
Peel and slice the carrots in half and then slice in 1/2-inch pieces.
If using chicken bouillon cubes, go ahead and boil 4 cups water to make the chicken broth.
Make the Soup
In a medium to large Dutch oven, brown your sausage.
Once the sausage has browned, add the prepared sweet onion, celery, and carrots. Toss in the dried thyme and parsley. Stir to mix well. Allow to cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are just tender.
Cooking the vegetables until just tender adds another level of flavor to the soup, rather than just dumping everything together at once. This is a technique called Layering the Flavors. Try to do this whenever you’re building a soup or dish with multiple ingredients.
Pour in the chicken broth and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Next, add in the undrained canned navy beans to the soup.
A little tip to make the soup more creamy, is to mash or puree the beans from the third can before you add it to the soup. I like to use my potato masher to do this, but a fork also works.
Finish by seasoning the soup with salt and pepper. Be sure to taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Cook for another 12-15 minutes until the vegetables are tender, and the soup is nice and hot.
To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls and garnish with fresh thyme, if desired. Serve with thick slabs of Skillet Cornbread. This recipe serves 4-6 people.
Sausage Bean Soup
- 1 pound ground sausage
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 2 stalks celery sliced
- 2 large carrots peeled, halved and sliced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 quart chicken stock or 2 chicken bouillon cubes + 4 cups water
- 47 oz canned navy beans or Great Northern Beans
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the Ingredients
- Using a chef’s knife and cutting board, dice the sweet onion, and slice the celery.Peel and slice the carrots in half and then slice in 1/2-inch pieces.
Make the Soup
- In a medium to large Dutch oven, brown your sausage over medium-high heat.
- Once the sausage has browned, add the prepared sweet onion, celery, and carrots. Toss in the dried thyme and parsley. Mix well. Allow to cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes until the onion is just tender.
- Pour in the chicken broth and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Next, add two cans of navy beans to the soup. Puree or mash the beans from the third can and add to soup.
- Finish by seasoning the soup with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for another 12-15 minutes until everything is nice and hot. Serves 4-6.