White Bean and Chouriço Soup with Bread is a delicious easy soup that is more than the sum of its parts. Smoky spicy chouriço is added to white beans with tomatoes and roasted sweet red bell peppers. The bread soaks up the delicious broth.
Homemade beans make a big difference in this simple recipe, plus you have the juices to add to the soup broth. I usually cook a whole bag of beans at once and freeze whatever is left to save time so I have some already cooked whenever I need them. Of course you could make a big pot of beans especially for this recipe. It is that good. I like my beans soft and almost falling apart to impart creaminess, but cook your beans according to your own tastes.
For the sausage I used Alentejana chouriço (chorizo in Spanish) which is made from Alentjana pork. Also known as black pork, it is a specialty found only in the Alentejo region in southern Portugal. The pig is fattened on acorns, giving it a nutty flavor. Also the fat from the acorns is monounsaturated, like olive oil, so it is healthier than other pork. Chouriço is smoky and flavored with wine and garlic. The one I used was not heavy on the paprika and not very fatty; it reminded me most of andouille sausage, which could be used as a substitute in this recipe. Although it can be eaten raw, I cook it in the soup to add flavor.
Also finding another use for old bread is always handy. Adding bread to soup to give it more heft and texture has been done since ancient times. In this recipe the bread is rubbed with garlic, dried in the oven, put in the bottom of bowls, and soup is ladled on top, like reverse croutons. The bread absorbs the juices, but it does not dissolve in the soup making bites of broth soaked bread. If you want a thicker soup you could sprinkle in breadcrumbs, or if you want it really thick you can toss in chunks of crustless bread with the broth and allow it to cook until the bread dissolves.
4 cups cooked white beans, with cooking juices
3 cups vegetable stock
4 canned plum tomatoes, cut into eighths
1 jarred roasted red bell pepper, roughly chopped
6oz/ 170g smoky sausage, such as chouriço or andouille
1 garlic clove, cut in half
1 small loaf day old white bread, thickly sliced
Bring beans and stock to boil in a large pot. Add sausage and simmer 10 minutes.
In the meantime run the garlic clove over the bread slices. Put bread in a 350F/ 175C oven for 8-10 minutes until it is dry and hard.
Remove sausage from soup, peel off the skin, and cut into ½” slices. Return to soup. Add tomatoes and bell pepper. Simmer another 5 minutes.
Cover bottom of serving bowls with bread.
Ladle over soup. Serve.
For another delicious easy soup recipe try our Mushroom, Greens, and Chickpea Soup.