Monday, November 23, 2009

Barrel of Beans

If I had to chose a food item...just one, that if I were stranded on an island, I would take with me, it would probably be beans. I know that sounds nuts, I love chocolate more than beans, but I'm pretty practical, and chocolate wouldn't sustain me for long. Beans are just so great. Bhe fact they are healthy, beans are so versatile and delicious. Beans can take on so many flavors and are found in so many dishes from all over the world. I love this particular dish because it is comforting. It's a great dish to make this week with Thanksgiving, because it easy-it lets you save up all that cooking energy for Thursday!

White Beans and Sausage

1 bag dry white beans
1 box or 4 cups chicken stock
2 large carrots, peeled and cut
2 large celery stalks, cut
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine or olive oil
15 oz stewed tomatoes
8-16 sausages,1-2 per person (I used chicken and gouda- my favorite are Aidell's brand)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon thyme

Before you go to bed rinse the beans (to get out any dirt or rocks) and pour in a pot covering with cold water. Let sit overnight. Pour into a colander the next morning and rinse again.
In the same pot, sautee the carrots, celery, garlic and onions in the butter or olive oil. Cook until al dente. Return the beans to the pot and add the chicken stock, tomatoes and and spices. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for an hour. I like a thicker bean soup, so I cook it with the lid off, but if you want a more brothy soup, cook with the lid on.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet wit aluminum foil. Bake the sausages for twenty minutes until they are puffed up and caramelized. Spoon the beans into a bowl and slice the sausages over the top. *serves 8

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