This soup recipe is a new family favorite, and my kids are very proud that I made this one up all by myself. (For awhile, my kids would only give me half-credit for a delicious meal if it was cooked from someone else’s recipe – ha!) Its one fault is that it has no creative name, but I used up all my good names on our kids, so naming recipes is not something I put a lot of effort into.
This Andouille and Cannellini Bean Soup is a warm, comforting soup that’s easy and fast. For being a broth-based soup, it feels pretty hardy, especially if you have some good crusty bread to mop up the broth. (We love the baguettes from The French Kitchen!) I usually serve it with a big salad.
One of the best things about this recipe is that all of the ingredients are pantry staples or have a long shelf life, so I can keep all of the ingredients on hand to use whenever I want something quick and easy.
Andouille and Cannellini Bean Soup
24 ounces (2 packages) Aidell’s Andouille Sausage, diced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 gloves garlic, minced
Red pepper flakes or Aleppo chile
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (optional – see note)
2 cups chicken broth or 1 cup chicken broth + 1 cup white wine
3 (15-ounce cans) Cannellini beans, drained but not rinsed
2 teaspoons dried thyme (or fresh is also great if you have it)
Salt and pepper
- Preheat Dutch oven to medium-high(ish) and cook sausage until lightly browned, stirring often. Reduce heat to keep from burning, if needed.
- Reduce heat to medium and add olive oil (more or less, depending on how much fat is left from the sausage) and saute onion until translucent; add garlic and pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add flour (if using) and stir until vegetables and sausage are coated with flour.
- Add the chicken broth a little bit at a time, stirring after each addition until combined with the flour. Depending on how thick of a soup you want, you may not use all of the chicken broth – just add it until you reach the desired consistency. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get off the browned bits (fond) from the bottom, as there’s great flavor there.
- Add beans, thyme, and pepper; then taste and add salt as needed. (The sausage can be somewhat salty so taste before you add it.) Simmer on low for a few minutes and then serve.
Regarding the sausage
We really like this with Aidell’s Andouille, but it’s not cheap. You could substitute something a smoked sausage like this to cut the cost by quite a bit.
Regarding the flour
Flour is used in this recipe as a thickener so that it’s not a completely broth-y soup. This is totally a personal preference of mine; I usually add a tablespoon or two of flour at this stage in a soup or sauce (such as chili or marinara) to give the liquid just a little bit of body.
Regarding the pepper flakes
Crushed red pepper flakes are fine here, but I really love the Aleppo chile flakes from Savory Spice Shop. They’re smoky and a little sweet, and I use them in all sorts of things for flavor and a tiny bit of heat. Sautéing the pepper flakes with the garlic boosts the flavor from the peppers, as the oil extracts more flavor from the flakes than just adding them at the end of cooking would. See this note from Cook’s Illustrated if you want more info (that link actually mentions that the same is true for herbs, so you could try putting the thyme in at this step as well, though I’m thinking it might only be true for fresh herbs and not dried).
Regarding the chicken broth
I use a ton of chicken broth and prefer Better than Boullion (Amazon affiliate link, but it’s available at most grocery stores). This year, I learned that slowly adding broth to the flour (in any recipe) helps them bind together better, and it really does work best if you stir in the broth a bit at a time until it’s combined, and then add a little more until combined, and so on.
Hope you enjoy this recipe!