Bits of Everything Soup; Beans, Rice and Sausage

by formerchef on January 31, 2016

Bean Rice Sausage Soup003

Beans Rice and Sausage Soup

When is a recipe not a recipe? When you know how to make something so well you intuitively know the ratios of ingredients and you don’t have to measure. Soup is one of those things for me. Early on in my professional cooking career I spent a solid year making the “soup of the day” for the restaurant where I was working. I don’t think I repeated the soup once. I figure I made over 200 soups that year.

Today in Southern California it’s an El Nino day which means we are getting a ton of wind and dumping rain. We’ve got a fire going in the fireplace and it’s the perfect day for soup. But what kind to make? Answer, the kind you have. This was a day to use up bits and pieces of what I had in the refrigerator and pantry; vegetables, proteins and starches. Today that meant, the standard mirepoix (the basis for many soups and stews is a mirepoix; a mix of diced onions, carrots and celery which is why I always try to have these on hand), plus some ready to be used mushrooms, chicken sausage, about a cup of dried 15 bean soup mix and half a cup of rice in jars that had been sitting on my counter for months. Fortunately, I had some home made chicken stock I’d made last weekend and hadn’t yet bothered to freeze.

This soup is a base, make it your own by changing up the beans, rice, vegetables and proteins and stocks. The “recipe” below is loose and not very specific for that reason. Add herbs if you want. Use diced chicken. Use pasta instead of rice and beans. Once you know how to make soup, you can feed yourself in an unlimited number of ways with an ever-changing list of ingredients.



Cooking the soup

Cooking the soup

Bits of Everything Soup; Beans, Rice and Sausage


  • 1 yellow onion, diced small
  • 2-3 carrots, diced small
  • 2-3 stalks celery, diced small
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, smashed or minced
  • 6 oz mushrooms, halved and then sliced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 chicken sausages, sliced on the diagonal
  • about .5 cup rice
  • about 1 cup beans
  • about 10 cups chicken stock
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, season to taste


  1. Dice all the vegetables as described above.
  2. Heat a large heavy bottomed soup pot (about 12 qts) and add the olive oil.
  3. Add the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and the garlic and cook until the mushrooms get soft and begin to color (I had already saurteed mushrooms in the photo)
  4. Add the sausage and saute for a minute or two with the vegetables.
  5. Add in the beans and the rice. Stir.
  6. Cover with the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until the beans and rice are tender. You may need to add more stock or water in order to keep it covered. It should take a couple of hours.
  7. Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.

The photos for this post were taken with my cell phone, so if they are not fabulous, oh well. But I think they get the point across and since I gave myself permission to be imperfect last year (oddly enough in another soup post), I’m trying.

1 Pam Valente February 1, 2016 at 10:00 am

I feel like such an accomplished chef – that is exactly how I make soup. Bravo! This is one of your most satisfying posts for me 😉

2 formerchef February 1, 2016 at 12:53 pm

That’s wonderful Pam! Thanks and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

3 Karen February 1, 2016 at 4:26 pm

Thank you for this post; it was inspiring. It’s a snowy day here in Denver and I had chicken stock in the freezer, ingredients for a mirepoix, and leftover brown rice, beans and ham. I got to use up leftovers, and I’ve got a nice hearty soup simmering on the stove.

4 formerchef February 1, 2016 at 4:56 pm

Karen- Wonderful! THAT’S what good cooking is all about!

5 Krysten February 1, 2016 at 10:55 pm

This is actually on my menu for this month! I love anything that pretty much looks, feels, and taste cajun. I will look at your recipe! Thanks!

6 formerchef February 2, 2016 at 7:28 pm

Awesome, great to hear!

7 tanya February 12, 2016 at 12:49 pm

This looks so good. Yes, I love soup and how once you make it enough you just kind of through everything together without measuring. 🙂

8 Priscilla March 24, 2016 at 5:50 am

Great recipe! Thanks, will try this soon.

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