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White Bean Soup with Spicy Merguez Sausage

(recipe, Greg Malouf & Lucy Malouf)

Introduction

Dried beans form the basis of all sorts of delicious soups, puréed into a delicious earthy smoothness. This version is spiced with sweet cinnamon and spicy merguez sausages, and has an underlying nuttiness from the hazelnut oil and the crunchy roasted-nut garnish.

Ingredients

  1. ⅔ cup white haricot beans, soaked overnight in twice their volume of cold water
  2. 1 qt. chicken stock
  3. 1 cinnamon stick
  4. 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  5. 2½ oz. bacon, diced
  6. 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  7. 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  8. 3 ripe tomatoes, skinned, deseeded, and finely chopped
  9. 1 tsp. honey
  10. 1 tsp. thyme leaves
  11. Zest of ½ lemon
  12. 1 Tbsp. hazelnut oil
  13. Salt and pepper
  14. 1 cup spinach leaves, shredded
  15. 6 merguez sausages, grilled and sliced
  16. ⅔ cup roasted hazelnuts, peeled and crushed

Steps

  1. Drain the haricot beans and place them in a pan with the chicken stock and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 1 to 2 hours until the beans are tender; cooking time will depend on their age and freshness.
  2. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the bacon, onion, garlic, and celery for about 4 minutes until they are lightly colored and softened. Add the mix to the beans and stock with the tomatoes, honey, thyme, lemon zest, and hazelnut oil.
  3. To serve, bring the soup to a boil and season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Throw in the shredded spinach leaves, then garnish with slices of the merguez sausage and crushed hazelnuts.