Hearty Chili Bean Soup

First, let me explain why ingredients matter.  If you’re making bean soup, you know you’re making a pretty economical meal, because beans are cheap.  And, you’re making a pretty healthy meal because beans are great for you.  They’re all protein and fiber and water — what’s not to love?  So what you cook with and in your beans becomes very important.  Making the soupy part of bean soup becomes very important.

So I name brands here.  Pederson’s Sweet German Sausage is available at Whole foods, AND, is now available online (the link is on the left side of my blog’s home page) — and I use it because it doesn’t have any of the objectionable things that other sausages at the megamart sometimes have.  No growth hormones in the feed and life of the animals.  No evil MSG that gives me migraines.  Nitrates, nitrites, anti-biotics…. all that stuff you really don’t want in your diet —

So get the Pederson’s if you can — if not, search out brands that are safe and healthy — and then make soup.

Serves 8

2 lbs Pederson’s Sweet German Sausage, cut into “coins”
1 lb dry pinto beans, soaked at least 6 hrs (overnight)
1/2 lb sweet white onion, minced fine
2 – 10 oz cans of mild Rotel tomatoes and green chilis (or hotter if you prefer)
1/3 c Williams Chili Seasoning blend
1/2 t mex. oregano
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 c V-8 spicy hot vegetable juice
1 1/2 c Frontier Co-op dehydrated refried bean flakes (to thicken the broth)
4 c beef or ham stock
2-4 c water

  • Combine all ingredients EXCEPT sausages, dehydrated beans and V-8 in a stock pot and bring to a boil.  Turn the burner down to a light boil and simmer partially covered for 3 hrs, stirring every hour
  • Add sausages and V8 and continue to simmer for another 1 – 1.5 hrs.
  • Add dehydrated beans and stir until well blended, returning to slow boil and simmer, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes.  If the broth is still thin, add additional beans.
  • Adjust salt to taste, and serve. (good with rice, corn chips, or corn bread)

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