We eat a lot of soups and stew during the winter months. But I get tired of the same old series of soups each year. We either have vegetable soup or chili or chicken noodle soup. And while vegetable soup and chili can be changed up quite a bit, I wanted to create something rich and hearty to feed my crew. I was challenged to create a recipe with Hillshire Farm Gourmet Creations Sausage.
I went to Walmart (we do 90$ of our shopping there) in search of the sausage, not really knowing what recipe I had in mind. I wanted to wait until I knew what flavors it was available in before creating a menu for the night. Our Walmart carries 4 varieties: Beef and Jalapeno, Beef and Bacon, Italian, Apple. They were out of the apple. We usually go for the sausage with peppers when we are grilling but the Beef and Bacon flavor just sort of reached out to me and I immediately knew what I wanted to make. Our weather man was calling for cold, dreary rain, I am (still) sick and I wanted soup! A nice, thick, stick-to-your-ribs soup. But I wanted something different than our usual. So, that is what I decided to make.
I grabbed two packages of Hillshire Farm Gourmet Creations Sausage in the Beef and Bacon flavor. They both had $.55 off coupons on them. SCORE! I wanted something similar to red beans and rice, only in a soup form. So, next, I headed to the bean aisle to decide on the type of beans I wanted. Then I headed to the rice section. I usually buy instant brown rice, but the family doesn’t really care for it so I bought white Jasmine rice instead. We all like it really well and it works GREAT in this soup! Lastly, I grabbed a can of mild tomatoes with green chili’s. (Like Rotel – but I bought the Great Value brand) Then I picked up a few extra groceries for later in the weekend and checked out. On the way home, I stopped at Wendy’s for a yummy Sweet tea to get me through the rest of the day. The soup is super easy to make and it turned out SO delicious! I made it in the slow cooker and it pretty much took care of itself while I rested. You can’t beat that!
- 2 12 ounce packages of Hillshire Farm Gourmet Sausage (Beef & Bacon)
- 1 20 ounce package of dry 15 bean soup
- 1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes and green chilies (mild or hot depending on your heat preference)
- 1 cup of your favorite rice. I chose Mahatma Jasmine Rice.
- 1 medium diced onion
- 1 clove of diced garlic (optional)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Look through your beans and remove any rocks or bad beans.
- In large bowl, cover beans with water and soak 8 hours or overnight. You CAN skip this step but it helps them cook a little quicker. I did NOT soak mine this time and it was ready in about 4½ – 5 hours cooked on high.
- Rinse beans very well under cold, running water.
- Chop your onion and garlic and place in your slow cooker/Crock Pot.
- Add your beans and cover with water.
- Do not salt or pepper at this time. I usually let my beans cook about 2 hours before adding any salt or pepper, especially when I haven’t soaked them beforehand.
- If cooking on high heat, check beans after about 4 hours. If done or near done, slice sausage and add to beans.
- Drain tomatoes and green chilies well and add to beans and sausage.
- Cover and continue to simmer for 30 minutes. Your sausage is precooked but you want the flavors to infuse the beans really well without overcooking your meat. I found 30 minutes worked really well.
- Cook one cup of rice according to your package directions, then add to soup.
- Stir well, serve and enjoy!
You can see all the photos from this project over at Google+.
The Hillshire Farm Gourmet Sausage added such a great flavor to the soup. It was beefy with just a hint of smoky bacon flavor and it paired super well with the 15 bean soup. I am definitely going to be making this again and again. It was filling and warm and hit the spot on a cold, wet day. If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it!
Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are my own.