Red Bean Soup

  • Yield 18 servings

Monday is traditionally Red Beans and Rice day in New Orleans. Red Bean Soup is a variation on the same theme. If you slowly cook it down with a few extra ham hocks, it also makes a great party dip to serve with chips.

Ingredients

2 pounds dried red beans
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4 ounces andouille sausage or smoke sausage
2 meaty ham hocks, or 4 ounces chopped ham
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
2 gallons chicken stock or canned chicken broth
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, chilled, chopped

Instructions

  1. Sort and rinse the dried beans. Combine the beans with enough water in a large bowl and soak for 8 hours or longer; drain.
  2. Melt the 1 cup butter in a large saucepot and add the sausage and ham hocks. Cook until brown on all sides.
  3. Add the celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, bay leaves and Creole seasoning. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Add the red beans and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer for 45 to 60 minutes or until the beans are tender. Remove the ham hocks and discard the bay leaves.
  5. Cool the ham hocks enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bones and add to the soup.
  6. Puree the soup in batches in a food processor and return to the saucepot.
  7. Simmer over low heat until thick enough to coat the spoon.
  8. Whisk in the chopped butter a few pieces at a time to thicken the soup and enhance the flavor.
  9. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.

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