Herbed Bean and Sausage Stew

  • 1 pound Italian (or any kind of ground) sausage – removed from casing
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2-4 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 2-4 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 lb pound dried great Northern beans, rinsed and picked through, soaked 3-10 hours
  • 6 cups water or broth
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 4 thyme sprigs + 2 large rosemary sprig tied together in a bundle with kitchen twine
  • 2 bay leaf
  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high. Add the sausage and brown until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a separate bowl.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cumin to the pot. Cook, stirring, until dark golden, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the beans, 6 cups broth/water, salt, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the beans are tender, about 2 hours, adding more water if needed to make sure the beans remain submerged.
  4. When beans are tender, return the sausage to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Optional: puree a cup of beans for thicker stew texture.
  6. Stir in the vinegar and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle into warm bowls and serve drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Adjustments for Instant Pot

  • Remove half of veggies before adding tomato paste and cumin. Set aside in a bowl.
  • Add veggies with tomato paste and cumin, beans, broth, herbs, salt into Instant Pot. High Pressure 30 minutes with natural release.
  • Add reserved veggies and sausage. High Press 5 minutes.

Adjustments for Canned Beans

  • 2.5 cans (36 oz) canned beans, preferably white, chickpea or kidney, drained and rinsed
  • In step 3, only simmer gently for 30 minutes
  • Add 4 cups of water/broth at first, up to 6 cups, since canned beans do not absorb water