As most of you know, today is Fat Tuesday. Where I grew up, we actually got out of school for the day. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a Mardi Gras parade – I got a black eye from a bag of beads at the last one I went to (it’s actually a funny story) – but I always love seeing my friends’ parade and ball pictures this time of year. I was planning to make a king cake last weekend, but that got put on hold thanks to the nasty viral crud I was suffering from. Still, I couldn’t let the season pass without one celebratory recipe.
This soup has all of the components and flavors of my favorite red beans and rice recipe but without all the work. I love red beans and rice, but making it can be quite the process. Plus, since I’ve had such a nasty cold, soup has been pretty much the only thing I’ve wanted to eat. This one was exactly what I needed – spicy, comforting, and fast. Even the rice cooks right in the soup. You can’t beat that! Unless you have someone awesome to make it for you. That definitely makes it better (especially if said someone made you hot tea before cooking dinner). Sick or not, this one is sure to be appearing on our menu again soon.
- YIELD: 4 servings
1 tablespoon canola oil
12 ounces andouille sausage, sliced
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
3-4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 14.5-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup brown rice
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place the sausage in the pot and cook until nicely browned, stirring frequently. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the pot to a plate and set aside. If there is an excess amount of fat, drain it from the pot.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery and half of the Cajun seasoning. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, broth, bay leaf, remaining Cajun seasoning, and kidney beans to the pot. Return the sausage to the pot and bring to a boil. Place the rice in a small mesh strainer and run cold water over it until it runs clear, about 30 seconds. Stir in the rice, and simmer over medium-low until the rice is cooked, about 35-40 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle into bowls and top with sliced green onions (which I clearly forgot to do).