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Slightly Spicy Sausage and Bean Chili

A high-fiber, gluten-free soup that will warm you up in no time!

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh

Please remember that if you are not used to beans and fiber, I describe it as having tummy rumbles and your tummy being in overdrive.  This is what fiber does to your body until it becomes used to high fiber.

At a celiac group workshop I was giving, we discussed how safe the 15 bean bag would be in terms of cross-contamination.  My feeling is that the beans should be naturally gluten-free, but with 15 different beans the risk of cross-contamination from growing and processing could be high and would vary based on farm and facility of processing.  Using 3 times one pound cans of cooked beans would reduce risk of cross-contamination. But it's your choice. Plus it's far quicker to use canned beans than to soak dried beans and then cook them. One pound dry beans equals 4x15-ounce cans of beans.

Gluten-Free Slightly Spicy Sausage and Bean Chili/Soup
Makes roughly 12 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2” or so dice
  • 2 large stalks of celery, washed, quartered lengthways and cut into 1/2” slices
  • 2-4 sausages from 12 oz bag of 4 Al Fresco, gluten-free, cooked chicken sweet smoky bbq, sausage, skin removed,  quartered lengthways and cut into ½ “ slices. Or any smoked sausage you like. I have used between ½ – 1 lb of sausage, mix of kielbase and spicy, as well as smoked turkey drumstick. 
  • 8 cups gf chicken or beef stock or mix (water plus gluten-free stock concentrate). This 8 cups is in addition to water beans were soaked in. More water is needed for cooking in a pan on stove top as water evaporates.               
  • 1 x 20 oz/1+1/4 lb bag of 15 beans soaked overnight, drained and rinsed.
  • ¼ c gluten-free tomato ketchup 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp Penzey Arizona seasoning or Smoked Paprika, just a nice bite of heat, not hot. Optional, and can be left out if you are using a slightly spicy sausage. 
  • Optional: 2 freshly roasted red peppers, pureed.  Once you have tasted freshly roasted red peppers you won't go back to acidic tasting, bought jars. 
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water to thicken, optional as my husband likes it slightly thickened.

Directions:

1. In large stock pot cook onions in olive oil until starting to brown. Add carrot and celery and let gently cook for about 5 minutes without burning.

2. Add sausage, beans, stock, spices, tomato ketchup, bay leaves, Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook covered for about one hour until beans are tender.  Remember to taste several different beans as sizes vary and so does cooking time. Dried beans that have sat in cupboard take longer to cook to tenderness. Hurst's web site says to not soak beans, cook in slow cooker on high for 5 hours or low for 7 hours.  I haven't tried that. Cold weather it's warming to have pot simmering on stove.

3. Add pureed red peppers and cornstarch mix, bring back to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve.

Instant Pot Update:

1. I have soaked the beans overnight, drained and rinsed and then cooked them with rest of ingredients in my electric/digital pressure cooker with 5 cups, 40 fl oz fresh water for 15 minutes.

2. I have also cooked the unsoaked/dry beans with rest of ingredients in my electric/instant pot digital pressure cooker.  I increased water to 6 cups and it was very thick when cooked. 12 minutes to high pressure, 40 minutes pressure cooking and then left pressure cooker to release pressure naturally and didn’t time. I added milk to soup for serving.

3. Quick soaking. Put 15 beans in 8 c microwave safe container, cover with water to 2 inches above level of beans.  Microwave for ~ 8 minutes. Leave for an hour, drain and rinse, add to rest of ingredients in pressure cooker, 30 minutes high pressure beans were consistently tender. Perhaps 25 minutes high pressure next time. Both natural pressure release.

We both preferred texture of beans soaked overnight, drained, fresh water, then cooked in pressure cooker/instant pot as #1. Smaller beans would take less time cooking under pressure. The 15 beans bag has large beans as well as tiny.

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