NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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February 6, 2013

Classic New Orleans dish gets a healthy makeover

(Continued)

This dish is a great final resting place for your leftover rice, but if you don’t have any kicking around, it’s simple to make a fresh batch. Just boil up the rice as if it were pasta. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add rice and boil for about 45 minutes (brown rice takes longer than white to cook), then drain it. And since cooked rice freezes well, consider making extra to have on hand for other meals.

And the kidney beans (the red beans for which the dish is named) are little marvels. They’re rich in protein and a terrific source of fiber. In combination with the rice, they will fill you up. Which is why I think of this recipe as a one-dish dinner. Just partner it with a green salad and you’re good to go.

By the way, this soup is even better a few days later, and it freezes well. Feel free to add extra chicken broth or water if you would like it to be even soupier.

MARDI GRAS RED BEANS AND RICE SOUP WITH ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE

Start to finish: 50 minutes

Servings: 8

2 tablespoons olive oil

9 ounces (3 links) turkey or chicken andouille sausage, diced into 1/2-inch chunks

2 cups medium chopped yellow onion (about 1 large)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon Creole seasoning (purchased or use the recipe below)

Two 151/2 -ounce cans low-sodium red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups chopped celery (about 4 medium stalks)

11/2 cups chopped green or red bell pepper (about 1 large)

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 Turkish bay leaf

11/2 cups cooked brown rice (1/2 cup uncooked produces 11/2 cups cooked)

In a large saucepan over medium, heat the oil. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a bowl.

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