MARDI GRAS RED BEANS AND RICE SOUP WITH ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE
Start to finish: 50 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
9 ounces (3 links) turkey or chicken andouille sausage, diced into 1/2-inch chunks
2 cups medium chopped yellow onion (about 1 large)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning (purchased or use the recipe below)
Two 15 1/2 -ounce cans low-sodium red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups chopped celery (about 4 medium stalks)
1 1/2 cups chopped green or red bell pepper (about 1 large)
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 Turkish bay leaf
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (1/2 cup uncooked produces 1 1/2 cups cooked)
In a large saucepan over medium, heat the oil. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a bowl.
Add the onion to the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and Creole seasoning and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
While the onion and garlic are cooking, mash 1 cup of the kidney beans with a potato masher or fork, then add them to the saucepan. Add the celery, pepper, remaining whole beans, chicken broth and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the reserved sausage and the cooked rice. Cook until heated through. Discard the bay leaf before serving.
Nutrition information per serving: 220 calories; 50 calories from fat (23 percent of total calories); 6 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrate; 7 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 12 g protein; 740 mg sodium.
Start to finish: 5 minutes
Makes about 1/3 cup
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
In a small bowl combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Sara Moulton was executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years, and spent a decade hosting several Food Network shows. She currently stars in public television's "Sara's Weeknight Meals" and has written three cookbooks, including "Sara Moulton's Everyday Family Dinners."