Most commonly the sausage found in bean soups is raw (before you cook it in the soup that is) or smoked, but I love the idea of browning cured sausage until the edges are crisp and its fat has been rendered out into the soup pot. Cured sausage gives you that tang of fermentation that adds acidity to an otherwise rather modest soup.
If dry-cured Spanish chorizo isn’t available in your area, you could do what I do and simply drive 5 hours to the closest metropolitan area and buy some, OR you could use other dried salumi.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced Spanish chorizo
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 pound mixed beans
- 2 quarts chicken broth or stock
- 1/2 head bok choy, washed and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped sage
- Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add chorizo and cook until crisped, about 10 minutes. Add onion, garlic, carrots, and celery and cook until vegetables are softened and translucent.
- Add beans and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until beans are tender, about 2 hours. Add bok choy and sage and season with salt and pepper. Cook a few minutes more until bok choy is wilted, but still has a little crunch.