Great northern beans are a lovely, mild white bean. Soak them over night to make for quicker cooking the next day. For an extra creamy textured soup, puree a couple of cups after the beans have fully cooked or use an immersion blender for a few seconds. Use a small amount of chicken sausage (recipe below) as the flavor goes a long way.
Great Northern Bean Soup with Homemade Chicken Sausage
1 lb. dried great northern beans, soaked over night, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lb. homemade chicken Italian sausage (recipe below)
1 large sweet onion, diced (about 2 cups)
2 cups celery, cut into 1/2″ pieces
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 cups carrots, cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 tablespoons dried or fresh parsley
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1) The night before cooking, sort through the beans to pick out any debris. Place in a large cooking pot and cover with 2″ of water. Allow to soak over night.
2) The next day, drain and rinse the beans.
3) Into the large pot, add the olive oil and warm over medium-high heat. Add the Italian sausage to the hot pan and cook through. Add the onion and celery. Cook for about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, cook another minute.
4) Add the carrots, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add the beans to the pot and fill the pot with water to cover the beans 1″. Cook over medium heat for 1-1 1/2 hours. Stir often to prevent sticking. Add additional water if the water cooks below the beans. Once the beans are done, taste. Add additional seasoning if necessary. Remove a couple of cups of hot soup and place in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and add back to soup. Makes about 8 one cup servings.