It’s a stormy Spring morning on the Darling Downs and I couldn’t be happier. After a particularly long dry spell it is pure bliss to hear rain drops clattering on my tin roof and drenching my garden with much-needed moisture.
I love days like this, quiet, peaceful ones that give me every excuse to stay inside and do quiet, peaceful things like read my new books from the library, mend clothing while watching Poirot mysteries, and take pictures of eggs because they look so pretty sitting there in an antique blue bowl.
It’s also the sort of day for making soup, like a hearty Black Bean Soup with Homemade Sausage.
For years I have bought sausage from the shop or the butcher, not realizing how easy it was to make my own. Now, unless it’s a particularly delectable imported European sausage, I will choose homemade over store bought any day.
This week I made Hungarian sausage, savory with garlic, onion, smoked paprika, allspice and a bit of liquid smoke.
Instead of putting it in skins, I left the sausage ground and used it all sorts of things. I made browned patties for breakfast, and fried some up and added it to rice with onion, Swiss chard, and sweet nuggets of corn for a fast and oh-so-delicious dinner.
Today I’m enjoying it in the Black Bean Soup I made in the crockpot. It’s so easy, and the hint of smokiness adds a wonderful richness to an otherwise simple dish. I like it best topped with crispy fried onions and served with thick slices of onion poppyseed bread.
Have you ever made sausage before?
Homemade Hungarian Sausage
1 onion, cored, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4-1/2 cup water, beef broth or red wine
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp allspice
1 Tbsp liquid smoke
1 tsp ground sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
- Add onion and liquid (water, beef broth or red wine) to blender and blend until mixture is slushy and there are no chunks of onion left.
- Pour into bowl and add remaining ingredients, mixing well with spoon or hands until well-incorporated.
- If using skins, press mixture into skins now, then chill or freeze until ready to use. If not using skins, cover sausage and chill at least 12 hours (to let flavors meld) or until ready to use. Wrap well and freeze if you aren’t going to use it right away.
Crockpot Black Bean Soup with Homemade Sausage
1 pound homemade sausage
1 large onion, diced
2 cups dried black beans (or three cans)
2 cups dried lentils (or three cans)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 cup mild salsa verde
4 beef bouillon cubes
1 large carrot, quartered and sliced
1 large bunch Swiss chard, core removed, chopped into small pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
crispy fried onions for garnish
- If using dried beans/lentils, pour into pot, add 6-8 cups of water and cover. Bring to boil and simmer 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit covered until ready to use.
- In saucepan fry and crumble sausage until browned and nearly cooked. Add onion and cook until onion is soft and sausage is cooked through.
- Place in crockpot, add remaining ingredients, add water to cover. Cook on high for 4-6 hours until beans are soft.
- Taste for seasoning, ladle into bowls and top with crispy fried onions.