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.