This comforting and substantial white bean and sausage stew is a soup that eats like a meal! Browning the sausage in a dry pan creates a beautiful fond that adds rich flavor. With beans, greens, and sausage, this stew is incredibly nutritious and warms you from the inside out. Serve with a hunk of crusty Italian bread.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
1 hr 30 mins
additional:
8 hrs
total:
9 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Soak beans in cold water, 8 hours to overnight.

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  • Drain beans and set aside.

  • Make a cut down the center of each sausage and peel off the casing. Transfer sausage into a dry soup pot over medium-high heat. Brown sausage, while breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes. Cook and stir until juices start to caramelize and stick to the bottom of the pan, creating a fond, 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Add onion and stir to coat in the rendered sausage fat. Cook until onion starts to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add white wine to deglaze the pot. Add black pepper, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, and water.

  • Add drained beans, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and continue to simmer until beans are tender, about 30 more minutes. Taste beans to be certain they are perfectly cooked.

  • Smash about 1/4 of the beans with a potato masher to give the stew a creamy texture if desired. Stir in chopped kale, increase heat to medium, and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust salt.

  • Ladle hot soup into bowls, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Chef's Notes:

Instead of soaking dried beans overnight, you can use canned beans. Dried beans come out better though and are less expensive.

Use any sausage you want. If your sausage doesn't have garlic in it, add 2 cloves minced garlic 5 minutes after you add onion. Pecorino can be used instead of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

If you don't have wine, you can use 2 tablespoons wine vinegar and 1/4 cup water, or just use water.

The amount of water you add will depend on how thick you want the stew. I use about 7 1/2 cups.

You can use any greens for the kale, like spinach, Swiss chard, mustard greens, or stinging nettles. Cooking time will vary based on what you use.

Nutrition Facts

669 calories; protein 36.2g; carbohydrates 42.6g; fat 38.6g; cholesterol 75mg; sodium 1989.1mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (10)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
05/15/2020
Was excellent. Only had Northern beans and it worked out fine. Substituted 50% chicken broth and 50% water mix, for water ingredient, for more flavor. Used chicken Apple sausage instead of pork which cut the calories and still tasted amazing. Served with rustic type bread. Read More
(4)
27 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 22
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
05/15/2020
Was excellent. Only had Northern beans and it worked out fine. Substituted 50% chicken broth and 50% water mix, for water ingredient, for more flavor. Used chicken Apple sausage instead of pork which cut the calories and still tasted amazing. Served with rustic type bread. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
08/05/2020
Phenomenal soup!! Made it for my mom and gramma, who are both in self quarantine , they loved having a girls lunch together and loved the soup with some nice crusty italian bread!!! Thanks for the recipe and some good memories Chef John!!!! And is this stew something I could freeze the extra for later? Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
04/29/2020
I added some thinly sliced Yukon Gold potatoes and I used hot Italian sausage. I added fennel seed and garlic as well. Wonderful recipe. Thanks again, Chef John! Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/30/2020
I followed the recipe exactly. It is inexpensive and easy to make. This soup is excellent, especially on cold, rainy evenings. Thanks, Chef John! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
09/01/2020
I only gave this 4 stars because I think it needed further flavor from some broth vs All water. I used 2/3 broth (a combination of chicken and vegetables broth ) to 1/3 water. I also added 1 Tbs of cider vinegar near the end of simmering because I think kale benefits from some acid. This amount was not enough to be pronounced in flavor but enough to add that little something, something. You have to add the acid near the end of cooking so it doesn’t make your beans tough if using dry beans. If using canned beans it’s a non issue. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
06/17/2020
simple but delicious receipe Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
11/03/2020
very good to almost great. Made it for my daughter and myself. Both like it but daughter was expecting another Italian sausage soup we had in the past so she was conflicted while I really liked it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/24/2021
I don’t think we have tried a single Chef John recipe that we haven’t liked and this one was no different. It was soooo good! I followed the recipe exactly except I used spinach instead of kale. I also added some minced garlic with the onion because the Italian sausage I used did not have any in it. I used 7 cups of water and needed to cook the beans an additional 30 minutes to get them tender enough. Soup always tastes better the second day so we’re looking forward to leftovers today. Thank you, Chef John. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/27/2021
This was one "Delicious" dish...great flavor. Read More