1 can quality red beans*
1 whole medium onion, moderately chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 links skinless, smoked, fully cooked turkey sausage, thinly sliced
2 small fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
1-2 cans chicken stock, as desired
1 bay leaf
1 level tablespoon basil
1 heaping teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher or sea salt to taste, if desired
4 cups cooked white rice
Hot crusty French bread slices
First, open a can of red beans (easy way to start a simple recipe, huh?).
Next, over medium heat in a 4-quart Dutch oven, saute the chopped onions in the extra virgin olive oil until they clear and wilt. Then stir in the smoked sausage and the diced tomatoes and saute them with the onions for about 8 minutes or so (when the sausage begins to 'curl' you're ready to continue building the recipe).
At this point, add in the beans, stir in the chicken stock, drop in the bay leaf, and sprinkle in the basil, thyme, and cayenne (this is also when you stir in the salt if desired). Now bring the soup mix to a slight bubble but immediately reduce the fire to low, cover the pot, and slowly simmer the ingredients for about 30 minutes or so.
When you're ready to eat, ladle out the dish into heated, deep soupbowls over a heaping spoonful of hot rice and serve with a couple slices of hot, crusty, buttered French bread. You might want to double the recipe so you'll have some stashed away in the freezer for those cold New Orleans winter nights.
Here's the coup de' grace! Use this very same recipe but substitute quality, name brand, canned white beans, pinto beans, black-eye peas, black beans, garbanzo beans, or whatever other bean you want to convert into a tasty cold-weather soup!