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Red Bean Soup

  • Yield: 6 first-course servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced bacon
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 8 ounces andouille, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 small (5 to 6 ounce) smoked ham hock
  • 2 cups dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 tablespoon Essence
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons Sherry
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked long-grain white rice, warm
  • 6 tablespoons chopped green onions


  • Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Add the bacon and saute for 2 minutes. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, bay leaves, andouille, and ham hock and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  • Add the beans and cook for 2 minutes. Add the Essence and stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 1 1/2 hours, until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Add the salt and parsley, cover the pot, and cook for 15 minutes. Discard the ham hock and bay leaves. Remove 1 cup of beans from the pot and reserve.
  • With a hand-held immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor, puree the red beans. Add the Sherry and reserved beans, and stir well.
  • To serve, ladle a generous cup of the soup into each of 6 bowls. Top each serving with 1/4 cup of the rice and 1 tablespoon of green onions.