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.