I love rich and creamy soups that start with a cream base and then come alive with herbs and vegetables and seasonings. I have looked at a couple of cans of white beans in my pantry for months now not knowing how I wanted to use them. So Saturday I came up with a homemade soup that I made up as I went along. That's what's so good about soup...you can add what you think you want it to taste like. This one was out of this world delicious. Thick and creamy with just the right spices. You didn't have to add too many because the sausage had plenty. I added a Cajun apple sausage for spice and an Italian sausage for a hearty texture and it came out perfect. You can add whatever sausage you like best. This is a keeper my friends. You will make this often.
Creamy Sausage and White Bean Soup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 large carrot, shredded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup of heavy cream (full cream)
1/2 cup half and half or milk as needed
1 can (14.5 fluid ounces) chicken broth
1/2 pound mild Italian sausage, cooked, crumbled, and drained
1/2 pound sliced Johnsonville Chicken Sausage Cajun Style (or any other link sausage you prefer, sliced into bite sized pieces)
1 (15.5 oz.) can of un-drained Cannellini beans (White Kidney Beans)
Salt and pepper to taste
In medium Skillet over medium heat, melt butter and sauté onion and garlic and cook 1-2 minutes until onion is tender. Add the carrot and sauté for another minute. Add the sliced link sausage and the Italian sausage and break up with wooden spoon as it cooks. Continue cooking until no longer pink. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Next transfer mixture to Dutch oven or soup pot making sure to scrap bottom of skillet for all bits and pieces of sausage. Turn heat to medium high and whisk in flour. Cook for 2 minutes to make sure flour has browned lightly. Gradually stir in heavy cream and broth stirring or whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a low boil. Turn heat to a simmer and add beans. Cover with the lid and let the soup simmer for 2 hours.
If you want to make your soup thinner as it cooks, stir in a little half and half or milk to thin it out. I like my soup creamy and thick, so I do not add the additional milk and I use an immersion blender to mash and blend in most of the beans. You can also use a wooden spoon to mash the beans into the soup if you do not have an immersion blender. Or you can leave your beans whole. Add more salt and pepper to taste and ladle into bowls.
Note: You can also use Jimmy Dean regular pork sausage for this soup and got an entirely different flavor that was delicious. You can use chicken or turkey sausage too.