This is another one-pot, cold weather, comfort food stew. Before our first snow, I rescued some rosemary and thyme from my garden- I was so happy to incorporate both in this dish. 🙂
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I added parmesan rind to the pot while the beans were simmering. I also modified the method and used an immersion blender to purée some of the beans after they were cooked to add creaminess to the finished dish.
The recipe can also be adapted to make in a slow cooker, noted below. Easy and delicious with rich and deep flavor.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1+ pounds sweet Italian sausage, sliced 3/4-inch thick (I used 5 links)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 medium carrots, finely diced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 pound dried great Northern beans, rinsed and picked through
- 4 cups (1 quart) water
- 4 cups (1 quart) chicken or turkey stock (I used homemade turkey stock)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 large rosemary sprig
- 1 bay leaf
- parmesan rind, optional
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, plus more for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
- minced parsley, for garnish, optional
- Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high. (I used a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
- Add the sausage and brown until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Add the tomato paste and cumin to the pot. Cook, stirring, until dark golden, about 2 minutes.
- Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Stir in the beans, 4 cups water, 4 cups stock, salt, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
- Then reduce heat to low, add the parmesan rind (highly recommend!), cover the pot, and simmer gently until the beans are tender, about 2 hours, adding more water if needed to make sure the beans remain submerged. (I covered the pot and did not have to add any additional liquid.)
- To add creaminess, use an immersion blender to purée some of the stew. (I blended for about 10 seconds.)(Alternatively, 1 or 2 cups of beans can be removed, puréed, and returned to the pot.)
- When beans are tender, return the sausage to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the vinegar and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle into warm bowls and serve drizzled with more vinegar and olive oil, if desired. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
To Make the Stew in a Slow Cooker:
- Add all of the ingredients, except the sausage and garnishes, and 7 cups water/stock (instead of 8) to the machine.
- Cook on low for 8 hours. (It holds well on low for 2 more hours.)
- When you’re ready to serve, roast the sausage on a sheet pan at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes.
- Slice and add the sausage, as well as any accumulated juices from the pan, to the soup. Warm through and serve.