A couple of weeks ago I took a Fall Soups Cooking Class at PCC Cooks taught by Olaiya Land of The Pantry at Delancey. I love taking cooking classes and this was one of my all-time favorites. Olaiya is not only an accomplished chef but also a fabulous instructor. This class was really hands-on and focused on techniques of building soups by layering flavors and components. One of the most interesting ideas I took away from Olaiya’s class is using your seasoned bean liquid as stock. I love this idea and its endless possibilities!
There were three delicious soups featured during class. My absolute favorite was a Country Butterbean, which was my inspiration for this soup.
Now don’t be scared by this recipe – yes, it is a Sunday Supper, so it takes a bit longer to make than most of my other recipes, but this soup is sooo worth it! I have made a couple of batches and can not manage to stockpile it in our freezer because we just keep grabbing it, it’s so good.
- The dried beans are a must for this soup. The bean cooking liquid becomes the “stock” or base of the soup and adds an amazing depth of flavor.
- Since carrots are a major ingredient here, make sure to buy the best looking organic carrots you can find – it will really make a difference! Also, I rarely peel my carrots unless they look damaged or old (or are not organic). I usually just scrub them really well.
- In case you can’t find fresh marjoram, substitute fresh oregano.
- If you haven’t cooked with Parmesan rind, read up on it here in the notes section.
- I only used 1/3 pound of Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage for the whole soup. You can buy 1 link from the butcher at Whole Foods (behind the case). It should be less than $2.
Recipe Adapted From: Country Butterbean Soup by Olaiya Land
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Butterbean and Chicken Sausage Soup
- 2 cups dry butterbeans baby lima beans
- water for soaking
- 2 or 3 sprigs parsley
- 5 to 6 cloves garlic smashed
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 8 cups fresh water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 large or 2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
- 1 spicy Italian chicken sausage approx 1/3 pound, removed from casing and crumbled
- 5 to 6 carrots cut into rounds
- 4.5 to 5 cups of soaked butterbeans yield from the 2 cups dry above
- 3 cups bean liquid
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram finely chopped
- 2 to 3 inch parmesan rind
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Sort your dry beans and remove any rocks, damaged and / or odd shaped beans.
- Drain from soaking liquid and combine beans with remaining ingredients (parsley, garlic, salt, and 8 cups fresh water) from "Section One".
- Set a colander over another pot, large bowl, or large measuring cup.
- Proceed to drain the beans RESERVING the bean liquid into the bowl or pot. Remove large pieces of parsley sprigs.
- You should have approximately 4.5 to 5 cups of cooked beans and approximately 3 to 3.5 cups of bean liquid.
To Prepare (for Section Two):
- Now we will prep the remaining ingredients.
- Smash garlic cloves with the back side of your chef's knife and then finish by chopping.
- Finely chop onion.
- Remove marjoram leaves from stem and finely chop.
- Scrub carrots (and peel if necessary), cut into evenly sized rounds.
- Remove sausage from casing and crumble into a dish.
- Measure fennel seeds into a small dish. Finally, measure red pepper flakes into a separate dish.
- Heat heavy bottom soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add olive oil, once hot, add garlic, onion, and fennel seeds.
- Next, add in chicken sausage, cook for 3 to 4 minutes, using a flat spoon to break up into bite sized pieces.
- Now add in carrots and 1/8 cup of bean liquid. Turn heat to a low light and cook until carrots smash easily with a fork, 20 to 30 minutes (start testing them at 20 minutes).
- Remove lid, add in beans (with herbs, Parm rind, etc.), remaining bean liquid, and additional 2 cups of water.
- Simmer on low, uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes.
- When done, add in crushed red pepper and serve. Excellent garnished with grated Parmesan and chopped parsley.