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White Bean Soup with Spicy Merguez Sausage
(recipe, Greg Malouf & Lucy Malouf)
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.
- ⅔ cup white haricot beans, soaked overnight in twice their volume of cold water
- 1 qt. chicken stock
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2½ oz. bacon, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 stick celery, finely chopped
- 3 ripe tomatoes, skinned, deseeded, and finely chopped
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 tsp. thyme leaves
- Zest of ½ lemon
- 1 Tbsp. hazelnut oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup spinach leaves, shredded
- 6 merguez sausages, grilled and sliced
- ⅔ cup roasted hazelnuts, peeled and crushed
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.