Soup is a wonderful meal not only during the colder months, but all year round. Sometimes soups containing beans can be too heavy, so we lightened a favorite recipe by using chicken Italian sausage. These sausages are available from Sprouts in Mesa and throughout the valley. These sausages have very little fat and are full of flavor. They are available in both sweet and hot versions. Either type works fine in this recipe.
You can also add a can of diced tomatoes to this recipe if you like, or even some fresh kale. The recipe is flexible so feel free to make this recipe your own.
Lighter Sausage and Great Northern Bean Soup
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1 lb Sweet Italian chicken or turkey sausage links
- 1 cup Onions, medium dice
- 2 med Stalks celery, medium dice
- 1 cup Frozen crinkled carrot slices, thawed
- 1 tsp Dried thyme
- 32 oz Great northern beans, drained
- 4 cups Chicken broth
- ⅛ tsp Liquid smoke
- 3 6” Corn tortillas
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Heat oil in a large, deep sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add sausages. Cook, turning once or twice, until well browned on all sides. This will take about 5 minutes. Note that sausage will not be fully cooked at this point. Remove sausage from pan to cool. When sausage is cool enough to handle, cut into ¼” thick slices. A serrated knife makes this easy to do.
- Meanwhile, dice onions and celery. Add onions, celery, thyme and sausage slices to the same pan in which the sausage was cooked. Cook, stirring often, until well browned. This should take about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add broth, beans, carrots and liquid smoke. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer partially covered to blend flavors for about 10 minutes.
- Tear up the corn tortillas into medium sized pieces and add to the broth. Stir. Cover again and simmer for another 10 minutes until tortillas have dissolved and soup is thickened. Check for seasonings and adjust, if necessary. Serve with slices of crunchy bread.