Rich, satisfying and tummy-filling, this Southern-style soup is slowly simmered with smoked ham hocks and topped with slices of spicy andouille sausage.
Kidney beans are extremely healthy. Besides having lots of cholesterol-lowering fiber (one cup of cooked beans has almost 14 grams) and being a good source of protein, kidney beans are also very high in antioxidants. You may be surprised to know that kidney beans have more antioxidants than cultivated blueberries. In fact, the red bean (a close relative of the kidney bean) is the #1 highest food in antioxidants. Kidney beans are #3 and pinto beans #4. So while advertisements emphasize the antioxidant properties of blueberries, cherries, cranberries and artichokes, it turns out that the humble bean ranks first place.
So, dish up! Not only is this soup delicious, but your enjoyment of this meal will be enhanced knowing you’re also loading up on healthy fiber and antioxidants.
Soak the dried beans in a pot of cold water overnight.
The next day, dice the onions, celery and garlic.
Drain and rinse the beans. Return the beans to a large stock pot and add the water. Add the smoked ham hocks and pork neck bones.
Add the onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves and thyme. Bring everything to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the smoked ham hocks and neck bones. Remove the meat from the bones and discard the bones.
Shred the meat and set aside.
Remove the bay leaves from the soup.
Using a blender stick, blend the majority of the soup, while leaving some chunks of beans. If using a stand blender, puree 2/3 of the soup and coarsely mash the other 1/3. Return the pureed soup to the pot.
The end result will be a thick soup.
Add the shredded meat to the soup along with the beef bouillon cubes and hot sauce. Bring the soup to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt to taste and more hot sauce according to heat preference.
While the soup is simmering, slice the andouille sausage, about 1/4 inch thick slices.
Add a little oil to a skillet and fry the andouille sausage slices until golden on both sides. Ladle the soup into soup bowls and top with the andouille sausage slices.
- 4 cups dried red kidney beans (can also use pinto or black beans or a combination)
- 1 large smoked ham hock
- 1 lb pork neck bones
- 7 cups water
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalk, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 beef bouillon cubes
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- ½ lb andouille sausage, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
- Rinse and drain the beans and place them in a large bowl full of cold water overnight.
- The next day, rinse and drain the beans. Add them to a large stock pot along with 6 cups of water. Add the smoked ham hock and neck bones along with the onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for at least 1½ hours.
- Remove the smoked ham hock and neck bones. Remove the meat and discard the bones. Shred the meat and set aside.
- Using a blender stick, puree the majority of the soup, leaving some chunks of beans. If using a stand blender, transfer ⅔ of the soup, in batches, to the blender and puree. Use a potato masher to coarsely mash the remaining ⅓ of the soup. Return the pureed soup to the pot.
- Add the shredded meat to the soup along with the bouillon cubes and hot sauce. Return to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and hot sauce to taste.
- Serve as a thick soup or use 1 cup less water and serve alongside some rice for a delicious red beans & rice dish.
Inspired by Constance Snow