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Day 158: Sausage, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup

I take back yesterday’s comment about Lou being deserving of homemade peanut butter and cheese treats – this morning, his first order of business was to completely chew up Mike’s glasses. Silly me, here I was worried about our shoes.

The fantastic thing about soup is that it can start from anything. I never would have thought to combine these ingredients in soup, but I looked in my fridge tonight, still full from a late lunch at Aida’s with A (please feel free to hate me for eating so well this week. I would) and found the better half of a can of black beans (leftover from the quesadillas) and two mild Italian Spolumbos sausages that needed cooking. And the storage compartment in the seat of the bench at the kitchen table is beginning to get difficult to close – every time I go to the market I pick up sweet potatoes and add them to the stash, which hasn’t been depleted lately, so I figured sausage, black beans and sweet potatoes might make a fine soup.

Because my other favorite black bean soup is made so much better with a fresh jalapeno pepper (and I say this as someone who is not a particular fan of jalapenos), I minced one (they cost about 3 cents each and last forever in the fridge, so I happen to have a couple) and cooked it along with the sausage. Unlike onions and garlic, a hot pepper’s heat will not be tamed by cooking; if you’re a wuss like me, get rid of the seeds and membranes, which contain the majority of a pepper’s capsaicin. Then I threw in a diced sweet potato, the black beans, a 1L tetra pack of chicken stock, a shake of cumin and about a third of a can of leftover tomato sauce that was also in the fridge. I thought this soup would benefit from a hit of tomato – a bit of tomato sauce or spoonful of tomato paste gives it a far richer and deeper flavour, and the starch in the potato thickens the broth slightly.

Some of you in warmer climates may think such a soup is the exact opposite of what one might want to eat on a June evening. Honestly, Calgary does have its share of 30 degree days, but today it’s damp and chilly; we all huddled into kangaroo jackets in order to go outside and see how the garden is recovering from the hailstorm A and I watched out the window at Aida’s while we finished our ricotta-rosewater cheesecake and baklava. When the forecast calls for a week of rain, I’ll be glad to have a pot of leftover soup in the fridge. Besides, Mike is suffering from a hangover, and I can’t think of much more reviving than a warm bowl of spicy black beans, sweet potatoes and sausage.

Sausage, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup

a drizzle of canola or olive oil
1-2 mild or hot Italian sausages
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 19 oz. (540 mL) can black beans, drained
1 tsp. cumin
1 L chicken or vegetable stock
about a cup of tomato sauce or a big spoonful of tomato paste

In your soup pot, heat a drizzle of oil over medium heat. Squeeze the sausage out of its casing into the pot and cook it, breaking it up as you stir it around, until it’s no longer pink. Add the jalapeno pepper, then the sweet potato, beans, cumin, stock and tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and simmer for about half an hour, until the potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened a bit.

Serves 4-6.
Per serving, based on 4 servings: 416 calories, 7.7 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat, 3.8 g monounsaturated fat, 1.8 g polyunsaturated fat), 27.8 g protein, 60.5 g carbohydrate, 30 mg cholesterol, 14 g fiber. 16% calories from fat.



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20 comments on “Day 158: Sausage, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup

  1. maplesugar
    June 7, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Looks delicious – and exactly what I need to warm me up…and make use of some sweet potatoes I have lingering in my pantry too 🙂 Am I the only one tired of the Vancouver-like rain? We were fortunate that there was no hail up here (north of Country Hills Blvd). My tomato plants seem to have survived yesterday’s rain and winds relatively unscathed.

  2. robyn
    June 7, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Tell me something. How on earth do you have leftover soup in your house?? If I make a pot of soup, it’s gone in one dinner. I’ll have to start doubling the recipe…I want leftovers!!

  3. A
    June 7, 2008 at 10:19 am

    I was still full at 10pm. How the heck did you get up the strength to make a hearty soup last evening. I guess you had to feed the boys. I was off the hook. Our lunch was so delicious(rich) it satiated(stuffed) me for the rest of the day. “Ja think the the Rosewater cheesecake put me over the edge?” A

  4. Morgan
    June 13, 2008 at 7:57 am

    Looks delicious! I’m in Ontario and we’ve had some super hot days, but I think I would still be willing to cook up a pot of soup if it’s as delicious as that seems!

  5. j
    June 22, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    I know you posted this a year ago but hopefully it lets you know when recent comments have been made…

    anyway I googled-imaged “sweet potato soup” hoping to find a recipe with chunks of sweet potatoes that I could add some sausage to (not thinking that a recipe just like that actually existed but I have those things in the fridge I need to use up….) and i saw this picture and the recipe looks so good and JUST what I wanted! I’m so excited. I’m going to make it this evening. Thank you!

  6. j
    June 22, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Ok I just had it.
    I added a dash of cinnamon, chili powder and onion powder and used vegetarian sausage.
    But I swear it was one of the best soups I’ve ever had.
    Thank you so so much for this recipe. I am so happy I found your website.

  7. Wendy
    August 19, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Made this last night in the crock-pot. This was a great soup, though for me it came out more like a stew…

    I added a dash of cinnamon, as suggested by a reader, and lots of onion and garlic, left out the sausage. Yum, thanks for this simple, filling, tasty recipe!

  8. JulieVR
    August 19, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Yes, it is a bit of a stewy soup – I’m not one for overly brothy soups! I want it to mean it!

  9. Jennifer
    September 26, 2009 at 5:38 am

    Hi! I’m new in Canada and I saw this awesome-looking soup of yours! I was wondering though if omitting the jalapeno pepper and the cumin spice would turn the soup for the worse?

  10. JulieVR
    September 26, 2009 at 6:14 am

    Oh it would be just fine! Just not quite as flavourful. Welcome to Canada!

  11. Dawn
    September 28, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    I made this for the first time last year, and it has become a favourite. THANKS

  12. anna
    October 20, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Wow, made this for the first time today – I’m a student on a budget and this could not be easier or tastier. Thank you!!!

  13. Norton
    March 4, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I’d have to agree with Lisa. I can’t watch the premiere with commentary either because I’m located in Australia. Why do American websites often have such restrictions? Isn’t the Internet meant to be available to all? I realise a transcript of the commentary would be a lot of work but if someone’s up to the challenge, it would really be appreciated. Thanks

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