Red Bean, Sausage and Pasta Soup
Beans are a big staple in my pantry. At any given time, I usually have five different varieties of beans in the cupboard. I use them for many comfort food dishes but they also work well in salads. While comfort foods can be high in calories and fat, beans are low fat and filled with protein and fiber. For this reason, I love to feed them to my family.
I was thrilled when I was asked to participate in the family friendly dinners SideCar Event hosted by Kitchen PLAY and Bush’s Beans. The minute I accepted I started thinking about the recipe I would create. I thought this would be quite easy as I add beans to family meals all the time. So many recipes came to mind. I thought of bean enchiladas, quesadillas and burritos. After thinking that Mexican might be too obvious, I went on to soups, stews and wraps. Then I thought of baked beans, peppers stuffed with beans and red beans with rice. It became a bean obsession, and I had to make a decision.
The night I created this recipe was a cold damp one. It was one of those evenings where no matter how many sweaters you wear or cups of tea you drink, you cannot get warm. I naturally thought of soup for dinner. My family sometimes thinks of soup as an amuse bouche but this was a meal, due to the addition of Bush’s Beans.
Sausage and pasta are one of my family favorites but I decided to add kidney beans and turn this dish into a soup. The combination worked well, and the soup was very warming. Even my meat and potatoes-loving husband found it very satisfying. The leftovers were great for lunch the next day. You can also vary the ingredients you use. I used smoked turkey sausage but your favorite sausage can be substituted. Tiny shells went into my soup but elbow macaroni or any mini pasta would work too.
It is always nice to have a cozy dinner with the family on a rainy night, and this soup would be perfect. We try to have family dinners at least four times a week but with our crazy schedule, this is not always possible. Sometimes dinner is just a warm tortilla filled with beans, cheese and salsa. It takes five minutes to prepare but with Bush’s Beans, it is still a nourishing meal before those soccer practices. This is also a ten minute opportunity to sit down with my children to see how their day went. Family dinner has and always will be a special part of our week.
Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post, but all thoughts and opinions are solely my own.
Red Bean, Sausage and Pasta Soup
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup shredded carrots
12 ounces smoked sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 TBS tomato paste
1 (16 ounce) can Bush’s Dark Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups dry pasta (I used baby shells)
3 TBS chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large heavy pot, heat olive oil on medium and sauté garlic, jalapeno, onion, celery and carrots for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add sausage and sauté 5 minutes longer or until it starts to brown. Add the broth, tomato paste and beans. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add pasta and simmer on low for 10 to 12 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in the parsley and cook for another minute or two. If soup is too thick, extra water can be used to thin it out. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving. Makes 4 to 6 servings.