Health and taste are interlinked, and my recipes almost always focus on both. Black beans are a natural, filling both roles seamlessly. This recipe offers an unusual combination of flavors and a variety of textures – from super smooth to chunky and toothsome. There is something about vermouth that’s subtle, herbaceous, and a perfect complement to fennel pork sausages and black beans. Comforting and hearty, this soup is a personal favorite go-to.
Heat a 5.5-quart dutch oven on medium-high heat and when it’s hot, add the olive oil. Add sausage, breaking up with a spoon until cooked through (about 6-8 minutes). Once cooked, remove with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel-lined bowl.
Drain the remaining oil so that there is 2 tablespoons remaining. Add the onion and carrots and sweat until the onions are nearly translucent and the carrots have softened.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the vermouth and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, until it’s reduced by half.
Add the beans and stock, bring to a boil, and simmer 10 minutes to marry the flavors and warm the beans.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and puree the soup in batches.
Add the reserved sausage back to the soup, and because garnishing is half the fun, top with any combination of creme fraiche, diced pepper and parsley.
Notes: If fennel sausage isn’t available, any type of bulk pork sausage could work. Sage would be lovely. And if bulk pork sausage isn’t available either (which often happens), just buy regular pork sausages and remove from their casing at home.
Vermouth makes it not the ideal choice for a family dinner with kids, so if you’re going that route, feel free to deglaze the soup with a quarter cup of water instead.
If you’re going for a smoother texture, don’t add the sausage back to the soup as there will be plenty of smoky, meaty flavor from the initial sautee. Rather, you can use the sausage as garnish, or keep it for another use (pizza and pasta come to mind).