“Stewp,” a term I coined to describe a marriage of ingredients that resembles both soup, which tends to be more loose, and stew, which generally has a denser consistency. In this case, the stewp is one of those magical recipes with all the usual suspects—carrot, onion, beans, chicken broth—that assuredly exudes a wonderful depth of flavor. And you know my mantra, for more robust taste, always use homemade stock.
A versatile recipe, this stewp can be cooked in any heavy pot or Dutch oven, and on the stovetop, or for that matter in the oven, which is what we did this time around. We typically cook soups on the stovetop in our Le Creuset Dutch oven, but decided instead to substitute a large All Clad pot in the oven.
We were entertaining family members (and a new “granddoggie,” Olive, shown above) and I didn’t want to be distracted with stirring the concoction while on the stovetop. In the oven, it just does its magic and gets all happy without stirring. Although truth-be-told, you don’t have to pay much attention to a good Dutch oven either.
After one hour I did check to see if the beans were soft and creamy, and they were! I let it simmer in the oven for another 30 minutes before I added the vinegar. Time can vary widely depending on the size of beans you use, and how long you soak them.
The Applegate Farms Organic Fire Roasted Red Pepper Sausage is a great choice if you can find it because it lends a slight kick, but use whatever chicken sausage suits your fancy. To make it vegan, Beyond Meat Sausage is the perfect substitute along with a homemade veggie stock. Oh, and I doubled the amount of meat from 6 ounces to 12, as noted in the recipe below. In addition, I included some fresh thyme.
The tantalizing aromas wafted throughout the house, and outdoors as the men folk were out raking leaves. They were more than ready for a taste test once they came inside!
It’s always a good idea to prep all of the ingredients before you start cooking.
White Bean & Chicken Sausage Stewp
- 1 lb. dried small white beans,
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 12 ounces cooked chicken sausage, such as Applegate Farms Organic Fire Roasted Red Pepper Sausage, diced
- 2 large stalks celery, diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
- 3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- The night before you want to cook this soup, soak the beans by placing them in a bowl and covering them completely with cold water.
- The next day, heat the oven to 300°F. Heat the olive oil in a large (4-quart or larger) Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add the sausage and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage has browned, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the diced celery, carrots, onion, and garlic and cook over medium heat for another 10 minutes until they are soft. Drain the beans and stir them into the vegetables.
- Pour in the chicken stock and an additional 4 cups water. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a generous quantity of black pepper. Drop in the bay leaves and thyme. Bring the soup to a boil, then cover and put in the oven.
- Cook for 2 to 3 hours in the oven, or until the beans are very soft and creamy. (Time can vary widely depending on the size of beans you use.)*
- Stir in the cider vinegar and salt to taste (I used about 1 1/2 teaspoons). Continue cooking for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until the beans have absorbed some of the salt.
- Serve with fresh crusty bread. Leftovers freeze well.
*The soup can also be cooked on the stovetop over low flame. It will need a similar amount of timing for cooking, and should also be cooked with the lid on. Check a little more frequently to make sure the bottom isn’t scorching.
Adapted from a recipe by Faith Durand from thekitchn.com