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Healthy White Bean Soup with Chorizo Sausage

Another soul soothing, body warming healthy soup that is also easy, of course.  White Bean Soup with Chorizo uses all of the convenience and tasty goodness from a simple Mexican sausage and delivers a super easy soup that can be made in the crock pot.

A large bowl full of dried white beans soaking in water.
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It’s still Winter here in Utah, although there were many days it felt more like Autumn.  We have had a relatively mild season here.  That is great news for non-skiers.  I LOVE to ski.  So not such great news for me.

It is still chilly so this makes it soup season right?  I thought so too.

I was craving soup but I didn’t want to go outside so I whipped up a batch of soup with ingredients I already had in my larder.

There are a few food items I like to keep extra on hand because they can store almost indefinitely and they are so handy for easily creating dishes without going to the store or thinking too hard on what to make.  Dried white beans and chorizo are definitely on that list.  I keep chorizo in the freezer and dried beans in the pantry.

Dried beans and other legumes are a no-brainer.  They keep well and they are so healthy for you.  Beans help reduce cholesterol, are a high quality protein and have lots of fiber.  They also take on just about any flavor profile so to me they are like a blank canvas.

Have I convinced you yet to stock up on these? Especially if they are on sale or if you come across hard to find varieties.


How do you make White Bean Soup?

You should know the basics of White Bean Soup, it will likely be one of your back pocket recipes.  

First realize there are different white bean varieties.  Here in the U.S. there are 5 common ones you can find in the supermarket.

5 types of white beans common to the U.S.

  1. Great Northern– A medium size, buttery flavor bean that holds their shape well.
  2. Cannellini– A large bean that is also known as a white kidney bean, holds its shape very well so it is great in dishes where you don’t want mushy beans.  It has a good ‘bite’ and a slightly nutty flavor.
  3. Baby Lima– Also called butter beans, they have a buttery flavor and are medium-ish size.
  4. Navy– The smallest bean in this list.  Navy beans are the softest bean that cooks quickly and is great for creamier applications like creamy soups and dips. Just mash them half way through cooking and you have a natural thickener.  You can get really creative with these little gems.
  5. Mayocoba- These are kind of yellowish but I’m going to add them anyways because this is my list and I love mayocoba beans.

How to make white bean soup in 5 steps.

  • Soak beans over night in enough water to cover beans by one inch.  Toss water and rinse beans.
  • In a large dutch oven or soup pot, cook aromatics in oil or with diced bacon until soft.  These may include onions, garlic, fresh or dried herbs.  Pro-Tip only cook garlic no longer than 3 minutes to prevent burning, so add last.
  • Add any spices right before you add water.  The heat from the pan ‘blooms’ the spices and release their oils.  Any spice profile will work well so you could add Mexican, Indian, Korean, New England, Moroccan, Italian spices and herbs.  This is the FUN part!
  • Add liquid such as water, broth, wine, vermouth, sherry, scape the bottom gently with a wooden spoon to loosen the ‘fond’ that developed when cooking the aromatics in oil.  This adds flavor to your soup.
  • Add beans and simmer on low until soft.  If you want a creamier soup, mash half the beans half way through the cooking time and simmer some more.  This allows the starches to build up and thicken the soup.  You could also leave it as is and have a brothy soup.

How to garnish soup

Below are some of my favorite ways to garnish soups.  Soups can look a bit bland after cooking so I like to add color and texture to my soups.  It also gives you a chance to add some fresh flavors to a dish that is very homogenized in flavor due to the long simmering process.  Have you ever noticed that?  It happens in crock pot or slow cooker recipes too.  If you add something in the end, it can really freshen some of these simmering dishes.  Lemon or lime juice is one of my favorite tricks.

  • One of the white creams look and taste great.  Sour cream, cream fraiche, Mexican or Salvadoran crema.
  • Fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, cilantro
  • diced onions such as green (scallions) or red
  • paprika or chile powder
  • hard-boiled eggs diced or crumbled
  • BACON, nuff said.
  • Battered and fried jalapeno slices, yep that’s a thing.  Pickled jalapeño slices work well too.
  • Yellow or black sesame seeds.
  • Julienned peppers, cut thin or made with a julienne peeler.

What is Chorizo sausage?

For the purposes of this post and most of this blog, chorizo refers to the Mexican chorizo you can find in U.S. markets.  Chorizo is quite different in many countries.  The origin of chorizo is probably Spain dating back to Roman times.

The Spanish chorizo is a fermented and smoked variety made with dried, powdered chiles.  Mexican chorizo is a ground meat, usually pork, soaked overnight in vinegar and mixed with dried chile powder.  The Mexican version is much spicier than the original Spanish version.

The spanish version is cured in a natural casing that doesn’t need to be cooked.  Mexican chorizo is a raw version in a plastic casing and needs to be cooked.  Those two chorizos can’t be any more different so I need to clarify for all of us.

Chorizo is also found in South America, Puerto Rico, Portugal and the Philippines.  They are all different.  So interesting.

9 creative uses for Chorizo sausage

For these reasons alone is why you need to keep this Fusion kitchen secret in your freezer.  Keep a few plastic tubes of this culinary shortcut around.  You will start to see all kind of applications for this gem.

  1. fried with scrambled eggs
  2. toss with par-boiled potato slices before baking or broiling
  3. garnish soup with cooked chorizo
  4. add to any marinade for a spicy, peppery kick
  5. add cooked chorizo to burritos and tacos
  6. fry up in a pan, add to cream cheese and nuke until soft and gooey for a spicy dip
  7. add to beans in a slow cooker for an easy, spicy kick
  8. add a little cooked chorizo to quesadillas
  9. add cooked chorizo to queso and garnish on top

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Bon Appetit my friends.

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A bowl of chorizo sausage and diced onions.
A cast iron skillet with fried chorizo sausage and diced onion.
Soup pot with all of the white bean soup ingredients.
Large soup pot with bean masher mashing the beans.
A jar of Salvadoran sour cream.
A bowl of White Bean Soup with Chorizo Sausage.

If you are making your own broth, you will need to check out this post on How to Make Broth. It also gives you clues as to when homemade broth is a must or if you can get away with store bought broth.

White Bean Chorizo Soup Recipe. Learn how to use the magic of chorizo to simplify soup and make this amazing, hearty soup.

Healthy White Bean Soup with Chorizo Sausage

Yield: 8 bowls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Another soul soothing, body warming healthy soup that is also easy, of course.  White Bean Soup with Chorizo uses all of the convenience and tasty goodness from a simple Mexican sausage and delivers a super easy soup that can be made in the crock pot.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb great northern beans, soaked overnight, water discarded, set aside in a bowl
  • 2 Tbs cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 sprig rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 9 oz chorizo
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves

Optional Garnish

  • sour cream
  • scallions

Instructions

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven or soup pot, add onions, cook until tender.
  2. Add rosemary and thyme, stir, cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Add chorizo, stir well, cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  4. Add garlic, stir often, cook 3 minutes.
  5. Add broth, scrape bottom to incorporate the 'fond', add the beans.
  6. Add bay leaves, bring to simmer, turn heat to low and cook on low for 1-2 hours, until beans are soft.
  7. Mash half of the beans with a bean masher, fork or take some out, cool a bit and mash in a food processor.  You could also use an immersion blender.  Before I had an immersion blender or a bean masher, I used a large coffee mug and mashed the beans in the pot.  This made it easier for clean up purposes.  Simmer for 30 more minute so the starch can develop and make the soup thicker.
  8. Remove bay leaves and rosemary sprig, garnish as desired.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 264Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 898mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 13g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Debs Thompson

Monday 29th of January 2018

Absolutely love white bean soup! And this looks so nourishing!

Claire | The Simple, Sweet Life

Monday 29th of January 2018

Soups are the best, and extra points when they're healthy! I absolutely loved that you added chorizo to this.

Karyl | Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Sunday 28th of January 2018

What a wonderful bowl of comfort! I've recently gotten really into white beans, and am always looking for new ways to prepare it. I also am in love with crema...it's such a great twist on regular sour cream

Tina

Wednesday 31st of January 2018

I only discovered this last year. I never knew sour cream came in a liquid-ish version. Happy cooking Karyl!

Sharon Glascoe

Sunday 28th of January 2018

Bean soup is great but bean soup with chorizo is even better. Perfect soup for the colder weather.

Helene

Sunday 28th of January 2018

oh yum with fresh thyme. We actually make our bean soup the same way just that we use bacon and not chorizo. I would like to try it with the Spanish chorizo one day. This would be a great winter meal, once I am out of the heat!

Tina

Sunday 28th of January 2018

Bean soup is so flexible, probably why I keep making different versions. I love how hearty and healthy it is. Bacon is the gold standard as far as I'm concerned;)

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