You will need a well-stocked spice rack for this soup. Thyme, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, fresh basil, and fresh chives make this vegetable and bean soup flavorful and delicious.
INGREDIENTS (for 9 servings):
- 3 (3.5 ounce) links Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 large meaty ham bone or 4 smoked ham hocks
- 16 ounces dry lima beans
- 1 (16 ounce) package dried navy beans
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 6 green onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder
- 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
In a large soup pot, brown the Italian sausage; drain off fat. Add ham bone (or ham hocks), lima beans, navy beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, chives, basil, green onion, thyme, mustard, cayenne pepper, salt, ground black pepper, Worcestershire sauce and chicken base or bouillon.
Add the can of beer and water to cover all. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, about 4 or 5 hours, and the ham has been released from the bone. Refrigerate overnight to let the fat to come to the surface of the soup.
When ready to serve, skim fat, remove ham bone (or hocks), pick off remaining ham from bone and put into soup. Discard bones and bay leaves. Heat soup until warm. Serve and enjoy!