If you caught our earlier recipe for cannellini relish, you know that we love to cook with white beans, especially of the cannellini variety. Click Here to Get Our Cannellini Relish Recipe… Today, we are cooking with white beans again, but this time we are going in the opposite direction of the cold relish recipe and making a warm, savory and smoky soup.
White Bean, Bacon and Sausage Soup is extremely easy to make and is very hearty. We often make this soup on the weekends and keep it in a soup warmer (slow cooker), for the family to pour themselves a bowl throughout Saturday and Sunday. Because it is a bean soup, it holds for a long time as well, and can be refrigerated or frozen and reheated later.
Bacon Vs. Ham Hock
A traditional white bean and sausage soup often uses a smoked ham hock to get that smoky pork flavored base in the soup. Our recipe skips the ham hock for a couple of reasons; first, a good ham hock is becoming harder to find, and the ones you do find in the grocery stores are not that great of quality and have often been deep frozen. Instead, we use delicious bacon to render that smoky pork flavoring and find that we do not miss cleaning the ham hock, nor do we lose any flavor.
Kielbasa, Polish Sausage, Ukrainian Sausage
For the sausage in this soup, we like to use kielbasa — also called Polish Sausage or Ukrainian Sausage — as it has a good bite and good flavor. The sausage doesn’t really flavor the broth so much as it is a meaty chunk to balance out the beans, so go with whatever your favorite sausage is. However, make sure that it is a smoked sausage, as that flavor balances well with the rest of the flavors in the soup.
Ingredients For White Bean, Bacon and Sausage Soup
This recipe will make a large pot of soup, but feel free to cut it down to smaller batches if you like. Again, this soup holds well and you can freeze it to reheat it later, so we always make the big batch.
- 2 Medium Yellow Onions
- 3 Stalks of Celery
- 2 Large Carrots (Peeled and Diced)
- 1 Packet of Sliced Bacon (1 pound)
- 1 Tablespoon of Vegetable Oil
- 2 Tablespoons of Butter
- 3 Cans of White Beans (Cannellini Beans)
- 1 Can of Diced Potatoes
- 3 Cans of Beef Stock
- 1 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons of Chopped Garlic (In Water)
- 1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder
- 1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
- 2 Teaspoons of Smoked Paprika
- 2 Teaspoons of Turmeric
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 3 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons of Ground Black Pepper
- Salt to Taste
Directions for Cooking White Bean, Bacon and Sausage Soup
Preparing Your Mirepoix
A mirepoix is a mixture of celery carrots and onions that give this soup recipe (and many other soup recipes) the basis for flavoring. Preparing it is simple, and it is really the only “hard work” that you have to do in this incredibly easy soup recipe.
- Take your carrots and peal them.
- Slice carrots in half lengthwise.
- Slice the carrot halves in half again lengthwise.
- Slice the carrot sticks into roughly quarter inch “cubes.”
- Take your cleaned celery stalks and slice in half lengthwise.
- Slice the celery into roughly quarter inch “cubes.”
- Cut off both ends of your onions.
- Cut onion in half and rotate.
- Dice the onion into quarter inch “cubes.”
With your mirepoix prepared, you can set it aside and move onto the bacon.
- Take the full package of bacon and slice it into 1/2 inch pieces. HINT: You can actually use scissors to quickly slice the bacon into appropriate pieces.
- In a large soup pot pour in your vegetable oil and let it coat the bottom of the pot, while bringing it up to medium-low heat.
- Add the bacon pieces and let the bacon render out all of its fat.
- When the bacon is starting to brown, and the fat has melted off, use a slotted spoon to fish out all of the bacon pieces, leaving the fat and oil behind.
- Add your mirepoix of carrots, celery and onions to the bacon fat in the pot and give them a stir (making sure to let all the vegetables get coated with the flavoring).
- At this point add your butter to the mirepoix as it is cooking so that the vegetables have plenty of fat to simmer in until translucent NOTE: The vegetables will quickly drink up most of the bacon fat originally used, so the butter helps to keep them moist while cooking.
- When you mirepoix has been cooked until translucent, add the bacon pieces back in, and give a good stir.
- Next add your spices: Cayenne Pepper, Chopped Garlic, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Smoked Paprika, Turmeric, Bay Leaves, Worcestershire Sauce, Ground Black Pepper.
- Stir all ingredients well and add your Canned White Beans and Diced Potatoes.
- Slice your kielbasa sausage in half lengthwise and cut at an angle into chunks (Size is up to you).
- Add the Beef Stock to the pot. NOTE: the 3 cans of beef stock is usually enough to cover all of the ingredients, but if your white beans are extra thirsty, simply add water to make sure that the broth is at the right balance to the rest of the ingredients. Some like their soups thicker, while others like it more watery… this step is up to you.
- Bring everything to a boil, then lower the heat to low and let the soup simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Final Step: taste the broth and add salt to taste.
And That is All It Takes…!
After only 20 minutes of simmering, this soup is finished! Who knew making a delicious white bean soup could be so easy? Serve soup alongside pieces of your favorite crusty bread (baguettes, foccacia and ciabatta go great with the flavors in this soup).