As the weather outside gets colder, there’s nothing better than warming yourself up with a delicious and hearty bowl of soup. Red bean soup is a budget-friendly meal that is easy to make.
These beans have several health benefits. Not only are they a great source of iron and potassium but they are also a low-fat source of protein.
When making this soup, it is certainly the case that a little goes a long way. It can cater to 1 or 2 people with some leftover for a couple of meals in the week, or it can be made to feed a family of 3 or 4.
Below, we have provided you with a recipe for a great-tasting red bean soup. Whilst red beans are the core ingredients, you can also add meats such as sausage or vegetables to enhance the flavor.
- Rinsed and drained red beans – 4 cans (kidney beans are a suitable substitute)
- Chicken broth – 4 cups
- Salt – ½ to 1 teaspoon, season according to taste
- Cajun seasoning – ½ to 1 teaspoon, season according to taste
- Hot Pepper Sauce – ¼ to ½, season according to taste
- Pepper – ½ teaspoon, season according to taste
- Bay leaves – 2
- Onions – 2 of medium size, chopped
- Celery – 3 sticks, chopped
- Red Peppers – 3 large and chopped
Making the red bean soup
First, you will need to prepare the vegetables that you are going to be adding to your soup. For example, you will need to chop your onion, celery, and red peppers into smaller pieces that are going to be easier to digest.
Soaking the beans beforehand is recommended although it is not compulsory. Beans that have been soaked will increase in size, hence why they are an economical option for feeding large families.
Soaking them will also reduce the amount of time that they are going to take to cook.
It is possible to make this soup using a slow cooker and it is a very straightforward process. If you do not have a slow cooker, you may wish to skip this step and progress onto Step number 4.
Simply combine all of your vegetables into the pan. Then add your seasonings along with the chicken broth and beans. Stir it all together and then program the slow cooker on the low setting and leave it to cook for approximately 6 hours.
Another way of telling whether the vegetables are cooked is to check whether they are tender. If they are, your soup is ready to eat. The bay leaves are also used to season the soup and enhance the taste so you will need to discard them before serving.
The following steps apply to those that do not have a slow cooker to make this soup in. You may wish to saute your vegetables before adding them to your soup.
Doing so will seal in the flavor and ensure that they do not become overly soft and sloppy when they are added to the soup and cooked further. Once you have heated the pan, add your onions, celery, and red peppers and fry them until they appear translucent.
Next, you will need to take your beans and vegetables and all of your other ingredients and combine them in one saucepan. Do not pour all of the liquid in from the pan that was holding the beans but take a ladle full instead.
If needed, you can add more to the mixture if needed to increase the moisture. You may choose to mash the ingredients together so that they aren’t as lumpy and prominent but this isn’t essential.
Some people may prefer to leave the vegetables as they are. Add the bay leaves and flavor with salt, pepper, and other seasonings before covering the pan and letting it cook.
Some people may prefer a soup that is a little meatier and this is where the sausage is going to come in. Andouille sausage is a favorable choice as it has a smokey taste that is going to give the soup more of a kick.
Slice the sausage before adding it to a skillet to cook slightly. Then you can add it to the pan with the rest of your ingredients.
You should expect the soup to take over an hour to cook thoroughly. Remember to reduce the heat so that it isn’t as intense. You can check that the vegetables are done by feeling whether they are tender before removing the pan from the heat.
Once you have taken the soup off the heat, you will need to remove the cover and take out the bay leaves before throwing them out. Then use a ladle to add the soup to dishes ready to eat. Ensure that you serve it whilst it is still hot.
If desired, you can add rice to your soup. Doing this will make it a little bit more substantial. Though some may think that cooking rice is easy, there is a certain knack for doing it so that it isn’t overdone or too tough.
Boil a pan of water and then add the amount of rice that you require. Let it cook for around 5 minutes before taking a grain to check whether or not it’s done. If it is done remove it from the heat and then drain through a sieve.
Set it aside and allow it to rest for a couple of minutes longer, then use a fork to fluff it up a little bit. Use a spoon to transfer the desired amount of rice from the pan to your bowl of soup.
You can either leave it sitting on top of the soup or you can mix it in. Now the soup is ready to serve.
As you can see, there are many ingredients that you can add to your soup to make it your own. Whilst some may prefer to stick with vegetables and beans, others may add sausage and rice to enhance the taste.