Friday, February 15, 2013

Pinto Bean Soup with Cajun-Style Sausage

So Happy {late} Valentine's Day!  I have been busy with sick kids lately, and so instead of making sweets, I've been making soups. How sad is that?  Except that this was a soup that made my hungry crew happy.  I made a big batch of pinto beans in the crockpot.  We used them for beans and rice tacos, but I used the other half in this soup. Dried beans are pretty cheap.  I liked that the beans weren't all that was going on in this soup.  The addition of some fresh veggies and spices made it much more exciting and tasty than a typical bean soup.

Pinto Bean Soup with Cajun-Style Sausage (Diana Rattray)
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces andouille sausage, sliced (I just used ground sausage)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped, red, green, or other color
(I also added chopped zucchini)
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning blend
salt and pepper, to taste
1 quart chicken broth
2 cans (about 15 ounces each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced sausage, onion, and celery and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the bell pepper and continue cooking, stirring, for 3 or 4 minutes longer. Add the diced tomatoes, seasoning blend, salt and pepper, and chicken broth. Add the drained pinto beans. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the green onions and parsley and continue cooking for 2 minutes longer.
Serves 6.

Lyd's Tip: I mentioned recently how I sometimes make my ground beef stretch using a grated potato, but I also like to make my sausage stretch. Are you shocked? :) I add a chopped onion, and sometimes I just don't use as much in the recipe.  I set a little bit aside and refrigerate it.  It's perfect in omelets, quiche, casseroles, or other soups.  Saves me time too, because I can just throw it in.
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