Wednesday, May 8, 2013

White Bean, Swiss Chard, and Andouille Sausage Soup via Dutch Oven Cookbook

     Before I really started cooking, a Dutch Oven involved pulling the covers up over my spouse's head and farting.* Needless to say, the wife did not find that sort of thing anywhere near as funny as I did.

This isn't a big selling card with Hallmark.
     Anyway, last year the wife finally clarified the term by buying me a cast iron enameled Dutch oven for Christmas. She also got me a cookbook to go along with it. I have learned to love this pot. It takes slow cooking to another place entirely. One thing I've learned it does well is soups. Within the cookbook, The Dutch Oven Cookbook by Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramer Hearne, are a number of great soup recipes. I am reprinting one here, along with any notes or changes I made in blue.

White Bean, Kale, and Smoked Sausage Soup
originally: White Bean, Swiss Chard, and Andouille Sausage Soup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups peeled and diced Yukon Gold potatoes (I only diced them. My Mom always swore there were important nutrients in the peel. Seemed legit so I never fact checked it. To this day, I never peel a potato. I also didn't use Yukon Gold. I hardly ever have them in the house. I used Russet.)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup peeled and diced carrots
  • 6 cups chicken broth (Didn't have any chicken stock ready, so I went with 6 cups of water and 4 chicken bouillon cubes. On the upshot, now I don't need to add salt.)
  • Two 14.5 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained (I used Great Northern. I figure they're the same color and shape, so close enough is good enough.)
  • 8 ounces precooked andouille sausage (about 2 pieces), halved lengthwise then cut crosswise into 1/2 inch strips (I don't really ever have andouille sausage in the house and if I did, I'd be cooking something Cajun. I used one pound of Eckrich Cheddar Smoked Sausage.)
  • 2 cups Swiss Chard, washed and cut into 1/2 in strips (I guess I'm defective, but I can't stand Swiss Chard. It tastes like dirt. Any time a recipe calls for Swiss Chard, I just sub in kale. So that's what I did here. I used an equal amount of kale.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (If you made it my way, you probably don't want to add salt)
  1. Over medium-low heat, melt the butter in a 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven. Add carrots, onions and potatoes. Saute briefly, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add chicken broth and turn heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes, until carrots and potatoes are soft. 
  3. Add beans and cook for 5 minutes. Add sausage and greens and simmer for 5 more minutes. 
Serves 6 (Theoretically)

*I mention this because the soup, as I made it, made us a wee bit gassy. And by "a wee bit" I mean we thought we were rotting inside. Cook it my way at your own risk. Mind you, we still keep eating it. It's just that good.
The soup, I mean. Not the gas.

Good times!

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