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Sausage-and-Bean Stew

- Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham
Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

This dish is so easy: Just brown your favorite smoked sausage, toss the ingredients together, and let the slow cooker do the rest. All you need to round out the meal is a simple green salad and loaf of crusty bread.

Hands-on time: 35 minutes
Total time: 7 hours 35 minutes
Yields: Makes about 4 qt.

Ingredients

1 pound smoked sausage

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 (48-oz.) container reduced-sodium chicken broth

3 cups dried great Northern beans

2 cups chopped yellow onion

3/4 cup chopped carrot

1/2 cup chopped celery

10 garlic cloves, sliced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 Parmesan cheese rind

1 fresh rosemary sprig

Garnishes: chopped fresh parsley, Parmesan cheese

How to Make It

Cut sausage into 2-inch pieces, and halve sausage pieces lengthwise, cutting to but not through other side. Cook half of sausage in 1 Tbsp. hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer sausage and drippings to a 7-qt. slow cooker. Repeat with remaining sausage and oil.

Add 1 cup broth to skillet, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Boil 1 minute or until reduced by half. Stir beans, next 8 ingredients, boiled broth mixture, 3 cups water, and remaining broth into slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 7 hours or until beans are tender. Discard cheese rind.

Stir mixture with rosemary sprig 30 seconds to 1 minute; discard rosemary. Remove 1 cup beans, and process in a blender 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Stir pureed bean mixture into slow cooker. (Repeat procedure with 1 more cup beans, if a thicker consistency is desired.) Serve immediately.

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