Tuscan-style bean soup with vegan sausage

You may be tempted to add carrot. Don’t. The sweetness isn’t right for this soup and it will disappoint.


  • 1 pound dried beans (navy, pinto, white beans of choice)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped rough
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme (or fresh, use a bit less)
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 links Tofurkey vegan Italian sausage, chopped coarse
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil for sauteeing (not extra-virgin olive oil. It will smoke and turn bitter)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. liquid hickory smoke flavor
  • enough salt


Sautee  veggie sausage, onion, celery, thyme, rosemary, and red pepper in veg. oil in a dutch oven (or open pressure cooker) until  vegetables are translucent and sausage begins to crisp. Sprinkle with salt to draw out moisture in the beginning. Add garlic near the end of cooking and stir frequently.

Add 5 cups of water, bay leaf, and a fuckton of salt.

  • If using pressure cooker-bring to pressure, turn heat to low, and cook 25 minutes. Release pressure, check bean tenderness and water level, and return to pressure for another 20 minutes or so. Let your experience guide you. If you have none, don’t worry about overcooking. Allow pressure to release naturally at end of cooking time.
  • If simmering on stove top-bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover loosely. Stir occasionally. Simmer at least an hour and a half, adding time (and water, if necessary) until beans are very tender.

Take potato masher and mash beans until at least half of them are pureed and have thickened the soup and made it creamy. Stir vigorously and add first the lemon juice, then the hickory smoke liquid. Check for saltiness and add if necessary.

Serve with extra virgin olive oil to drizzle, black pepper, and pass parmesan.



4 thoughts on “Tuscan-style bean soup with vegan sausage

  1. I reading someone earlier who insisted that a main dish had to have meat, and now this vegan posting has settled it in my head. Carnivores should not dismiss vegetarian or vegan cooking. First, there’s usually a straight-forward meat substitution you can make. Second, knowing how to add flavor without resorting to animal fat is a good skill to have. Third, being able to provide to vegetarian or vegan guests is just good hosting.

    Lastly: Most of these sorts of recipes can easily be used as an appetizer, first course, or a side dish/complement to whatever meaty meal you’re preparing.

    That said, I’m forwarding this to a friend of mine who has had a date or two with a vegetarian and needed to some ideas of what to make. This sounds lovely!

    I’m curious about the liquid smoke, though. What’s the thought behind it?

  2. You’re totally right, Besomyka. This aversion to “vegan” food is pure prejudice. It has nothing to do with taste or how “hard” it is to cook without meat. My repertoire of really delicious (and healthful) food expanded enormously when an early heart attack forced me to re-tool. Guess what I’d been missing? A shit ton of delicious, awesome food that *anyone* would enjoy, and that was much more interesting.

    The liquid hickory smoke gives exactly the flavor it sounds like. It’s a great addition to soups that “want” smoked ham hocks, etc., but don’t have them. It’s simply actual hickory smoked captured and concentrated in liquid.

  3. Ahh! Replaced ham hock! Nice.

    I saw that on the pantry list and was curious then, too. It’s not something that I keep around. Generally I’m looking at trying to get smoke without the smoke, not without the meat, and use something like mild smoked paprika, or other smoked peppers. That wouldn’t work well in the soup due to color, though.

    Worth noting that vegan food is pretty awesome for the lactose intolerant among us as well.

Dish, gurl!

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