Louisiana style red beans and rice is one of my all time favorite rice dishes, especially when its paired with fried tilapia and boiled cabbage. It doesn't matter if you use kidney beans or small red beans; its seriously one of those rice dishes that has so much flavor that you end up eating several helpings of it before you know it. I came up with this recipe on a day that I was craving red beans and rice but didn't feel like cooking any meat or vegetables to go with it besides what was in my original recipe for the rice. Since soup has become a super convenient and quick dinner in my weekly rotations, I thought that there's no better idea than to turn one of the best rice dishes into a hearty and quick soup! This soup has all of the flavor of my easy and delicious "Louisiana Style Red Beans and Rice" but in soup form and with lots of veggies and sausage. The next time you're in he mood for a quick Cajun inspired dish, why not try this recipe?
-1 cup sliced kielbasa or andouille sausage
-1/2 cup chopped celery
-1/2 cup chopped yellow or red onions
-1 cup chopped green bell pepper
-1 cup cooked red beans or 1 15 oz. can kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
-1/2 cup cooked navy beans or 1 15 oz. can navy beans (rinsed and drained)
-1 cup long grain brown rice
-1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
-1 6 oz. can tomato paste
-4 cups chicken broth
-2 tbs. minced garlic
-2 bay leaves
-1 tsp. garlic powder
-1 tsp. onion powder
-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
-1 tsp. dried thyme
-2 tsp. smoked paprika
-1 1/2 tsp. salt
-2 tbs. unsalted butter
Note: If using dry red beans and/or navy beans make sure to cook the beans ahead of time. I usually cook them the day before I need them for a recipe but you can also cook them a few hours before you need them. Just cook the dry beans with 6 cups water+1 tbs. salt for 1 1/2 hours then store the beans and some of the remaining cooking liquid in a plastic container in the refrigerator until you need them.
Cook rice and set aside. In a large pot, melt the butter and add the sausage. Cook, stirring occasionally on med-high heat for about 5 minutes until the sausage has browned. Remove the sausage from the pot and set aside.
Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add all ingredients except the rice and make sure to gently stir the tomato paste into the broth until it completely dissolves. Cover and cook on low for 20 minutes. Serve with rice and enjoy!
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