It was a cloudy and chilly Sunday afternoon. I’d traveled almost 400 miles round trip the previous day to celebrate my Mother’s 80th birthday and was feeling jet lagged. I wanted to be fed, I didn’t want to cook. My P.S. was on vacation and running errands all day so I was stuck making dinner in the castle after all. Drat. My idea for some good bean soup came to life when I scoured the fridge for ideas. Three bean soup! Yes!
I had some 3 cheese sausages, a few slices of applewood smoked bacon and so many kinds of beans in my cupboard I was in awe. Apparently my P.S. (Pantry Stocker/ hubby) had been busy picking up random cans of beans. I thought 3 kinds of white beans would be nice. I started by choosing a can of cannalini beans, the largest of the beans I pulled out of the cupboard.
Next was a can of Great Northern beans, which always reminds me that my Dad started his railroad career on the Great Northern railroad. Several mergers later it became what is now, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. Dad retired 15 or 16 years ago. I researched and could not find why the beans are so named. Of course they have nothing to do with the railroad.
The final white beans I chose were White Beans. Aptly named, they were the smallest of the beans and I used two cans for my soup. I wanted plenty of beans in my soup.
I started by dicing the bacon and frying it in a soup pot with a drizzle of oil. Things fry so much faster when they’re not in a nonstick skillet, I had to remind myself. The bacon had to be stirred often!
When the bacon was fairly browned I added the diced onion and red bell pepper and let them fry for 4-5 more minutes. I stirred in a teaspoon of minced garlic and let it fry for another minute or so.
I drained and rinsed the beans and had them ready to add to my soup pot. I had also thawed 4 cups of homemade vegetable broth I’d made recently. When my bacon and vegetables were sautéed, I added the beans and broth to the pot.
Then I kicked myself and realized I should have sautéed some sliced carrots as well. I quickly cleaned and sliced up 4 carrots and cooked them in salted water in a small saucepan to al dente. I added them to the pot of soup.
My final vegetable addition was potatoes. I scrubbed and diced up 3 potatoes fairly small and added them to the soup. I left the skins on for a rustic look and turned the heat down to medium low and let my soup simmer for 3o minutes. I wanted the potatoes fork tender, almost falling apart. They would add a thickness to the soup without having to use flour or cornstarch.
I tasted tested the soup and added salt and pepper. My vegetable broth had no salt added so I needed to add quite a bit of salt to the soup to get a good balance of seasoning and flavors. I added the sliced sausages to the soup and let them heat through for several minutes.
I served the soup for dinner and we loved the flavors. The bacon added a slight smokiness to the soup. The sausages contributed a good mouthful of texture with the addition of cheese. I think I’d have liked more carrots, but it was a fabulous soup as served. We loved it!
Three White Bean Soup
4 strips thick cut Applewood smoked bacon; diced
drizzle of oil
1/2 cup onion; diced
1 large red bell pepper; diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can cannellini beans
1 can Great Northern Beans
2 cans White Beans
2 cups sliced carrots; cooked
4 Johnsonville 3-Cheese Sausages; sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté bacon in drizzle of oil in the bottom of a soup pot until mostly browned. Add onion and pepper and continue to sauté 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and stir, cooking for another minute.
Rinse and drain beans; add to soup pot. Add vegetable broth and carrots and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Add dice potatoes to soup. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes until the potatoes are softened. Add sausages and heat through.
Taste test for seasonings and serve hot.