Sausage Bean Chowder

 

I have to tell people about this.

This started out as a “formal” recipe from Parade Magazine, over 50 years ago. I don’t make it exactly the same each time, it depends on what potatoes I find, and what size packages of ground pork… And the size of the crockpot, of course.

At that time, the recipe included I think a quart of water, so it originally was kinda soup-y. I prefer a thicker version.

With crock pots, it often comes down to the space available. Usually, I start with the amount of ground pork – just plain ground pork, not sausage. Some places only have ground pork with some basil etc, that’s usable if you adjust the other seasoning. But full-on sausage isn’t going to work. I’ve tried it. Blech.

I’ve used about 1 1/4 lb (before cooking) of ground pork with a 4-quart crockpot, maybe 1 1/2 lb for 5 qt… my current model is 7 qt, so I’d prefer to use 2 to 2 1/2 lbs.

But Walmart only had 1 1/2 lb packages, so I used two. This batch is probably the most sausage-y I’ve ever made. I did the rest of the recipe first with one package, then cooked the second package and added that to the crockpot.

Brown the pork, breaking it up into pieces as it cooks, and drain.

While the pork is cooking, I start working on the next stuff. Put a large can (28oz, I think) of whole peeled tomatoes into a blender jar, add at least half (4 qt) or one whole (7 qt) green bell pepper, cut into chunks; a medium onion (4 qt) or large onion (5 qt) or two medium onions (7 qt) also cut into chunks; garlic as desired, a tablespoon or more of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt (only Lawry’s for this), oregano, thyme… ground black pepper…

For a larger pot like my 7 qt, another small (15 oz) can of tomatoes is probably a good idea.

Family Dollar didn’t have canned whole peeled tomatoes, just “crushed.” So I used a can of that, and then a regular (15oz) can of diced tomatoes, chopped up a bit. All liquid included too.

But you wouldn’t do that with a smaller crockpot. Just the one large can of whole/peeled tomatoes.

Blend just enough to chop up the peppers, onion, and garlic. (If you prefer to fine-chop the onions/garlic/peppers separately, the blending is just enough to break up the tomatoes and mix in the spices.)

Depending on the capacity of your blender, for a large batch like mine the smaller can of tomatoes may need to be chopped up separately. Or they could be left diced.

Then, pour that mixture into the frying pan, with the drained cooked pork. Add some bay leaves as desired (some types are stronger than others). Simmer that mixture for a while to blend flavors.

Pour all of that into the crockpot, add 1 can (4 qt), maybe 2 cans (5 qt), or 3 cans (7 qt) of dark red kidney beans. Regular 15 oz cans. (Black beans could also be used, or even something like Garbanzos – aka chickpeas – but pinto beans are too soft. Maybe pinto beans could work if they went in dry.)

We always rinse all the cans with a little water too, and it all goes into the crockpot.

If using beans packed in juice/water, include that too. If packed in brine, they need to be drained and rinsed, then add a little water.

Then peel and dice baking potatoes to fill the crockpot up. Best to use baking potatoes, the other kind get mushy while cooking.

I’ve never added the quart of water from the original recipe, and I find the liquid that comes from the tomatoes, beans, and cooking out of the potatoes, is usually adequate.

I start out using high heat for a while, to get things going. Then, simmer in the crockpot until the potatoes are tender/done, and enjoy!

My preference is to have it with some good solid bread, or rolls.  Something that can be dipped without falling apart.

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  1. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Well, I’m game.  Always looking for a new soup to add to my repertoire . I’ll add any ingredients I don’t have to my next WM order. I just discovered WM pickup service. Its fabulous!

    • #1
  2. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    Wow, Kedavis, that sounds good, real good. Damn good! Think I’ll give it a try.

    • #2
  3. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Well, I’m game. Always looking for a new soup to add to my repertoire . I’ll add any ingredients I don’t have to my next WM order. I just discovered WM pickup service. Its fabulous!

    Give this a try. 

    2 medium leeks, white part and about 2 inches of the green part

    ½ lb. green Swiss Chard, stemmed and torn/cut into approx. 1 inch square pieces

    2 tbspn. sweet butter

    1 tbspn. olive oil

    ½ cup Arborio, or other short/medium grain, rice

    6 cups chicken stock

    ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

    Salt and pepper to taste.

    Optional:

    Two or three green onions, diagonally sliced, both white and green parts.

    ½ tspn. minced garlic

    Slice the leeks across the grain, not quite ½ inches thick. Rinse carefully as leeks tend to collect sand and dirt. Sauté in butter/olive oil over medium heat until softened a bit, no more than 10 minutes. If used, add the onions and garlic at this time.

    Add stock and the chard, simmer over medium heat until chard begins to wilt, again no more than 10 minutes.

    Add rice and stir. Cover, set heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender.  (It doesn’t hurt to throw in some baby spinach leaves now.)

    Season to taste with salt and pepper. The recipe calls for stirring in the Parmesan now, but I prefer to sprinkle it over the soup as it is served.

    • #3
  4. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Looks good, but throw in a picture with the lid off.

    • #4
  5. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    One more detail, off-brands of things like beans and diced tomatoes at places like Family Dollar are likely to include more liquid than name brands such as Bush’s, Goya, or what-have-you.  I noticed that for the chili beans too, that I use in another recipe (“White House Chili”), the Chestnut Hill ones at Family Dollar have more liquid (and less  beans) than the Bush’s that I prefer.  They also seem to use “small red beans,” rather than pinto beans which I prefer.

    So if I relied on kidney beans from someplace like Family Dollar to make this, I might drain some of the liquid, and maybe get another can to supplement.

    • #5
  6. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Looks good, but throw in a picture with the lid off.

    I should have, but I’ve already portioned it out into glass Tostitos Salsa jars with screw-on metal lids, individual servings, and put them in the fridge.

    The photos were originally taken to show relatives why I “had to” add extra outlets in the kitchen, especially next to the stove: so I could use things like a griddle, and the crock pot, under the new vent hood that goes outside.

    So I didn’t think about taking pictures with the lid off, and now it’s too late.

    But absolutely, try it.  It’s really good.  Better for cold weather, but it’s always cold somewhere, right?

    • #6
  7. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Wow, Kedavis, that sounds good, real good. Damn good! Think I’ll give it a try.

    Please do, I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed.

    • #7
  8. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    kedavis (View Comment):
    One more detail, off-brands of things like beans and diced tomatoes at places like Family Dollar are likely to include more liquid than name brands such as Bush’s, Goya, or what-have-you.

    I certainly can vouch for the quality of Goya canned vegetables and beans.  Definitely worth the slight extra cost.  I like Bush’s as well.

    • #8
  9. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    One more detail, off-brands of things like beans and diced tomatoes at places like Family Dollar are likely to include more liquid than name brands such as Bush’s, Goya, or what-have-you.

    I certainly can vouch for the quality of Goya canned vegetables and beans. Definitely worth the slight extra cost. I like Bush’s as well.

    And Goya was the target of that lefty “boycott” recently that actually increased their sales due to a “counter-boycott.”  Another good reason to support Goya.

    • #9
  10. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Looks good, but throw in a picture with the lid off.

    How about a picture of what I reheated today?

     

    • #10
  11. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I believe strongly in “one pot” meals, properly prepared.  This seems like one.

    • #11
  12. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I believe strongly in “one pot” meals, properly prepared. This seems like one.

    It’s pretty close.  Technically, you could cook the sausage in a stove-top pot, drain, and just add the other stuff to it in the same pot.  That’s actually more the original style, from 50+ years ago when people didn’t have crock pots yet.  The only caution is to watch the heat, because it’s easier to scorch when doing it stove-top.  (And/or add more water like in the original recipe, but I prefer the crock pot method.)

    If you want even more of a one-pot meal, try Sweet And Sour Meatballs.  That’s something else that is a long-time family favorite, but the way Mom made/makes them, is kinda time-consuming.  It involves mixing raw ground beef with seasoning and forming meatballs and then baking/broiling them for a while first…  Then simmering them in a scratch-made sauce…

    But I wanted a shortcut.  So I use pre-cooked frozen meatballs (I use Cooked Perfect, the Italian style because their “traditional” meatballs have chicken in them too which is just wrong…  1 oz “dinner size”…) and I realized the original sauce is pretty close to Manwich canned sauce.

    So you just dump the package of frozen meatballs into a straight-side frying pan, add two regular-size cans of Manwich sauce (you can get Regular, or Bold, or Chunky…  I wouldn’t use BBQ but someone may want to try it…) and a small 8oz can of crushed pineapple, including juice…  that’s the “Sweet” part… then some red wine vinegar for the “sour”…  a bit of Worcestershire Sauce if you like…  Then just simmer it for 60-90 minutes, covered, stirring to avoid scorching, to thoroughly heat the meatballs and let the flavors soak in.

    That’s it!

    They’re great plain, or with mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes, or fries… anything, really.

    And it’s really easy to make a big batch for a potluck or whatever:  2 bags of meatballs, 4 cans of Manwich, 2 of crushed pineapple…

    One of the problems I had with Mom’s original recipe, even as a kid, was not enough sauce.  I LIKE SAUCE!  Especially these meatballs with sauce!  And using Manwich, I finally get enough sauce.

    • #12
  13. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I believe strongly in “one pot” meals, properly prepared. This seems like one.

    It’s pretty close. Technically, you could cook the sausage in a stove-top pot, drain, and just add the other stuff to it in the same pot. That’s actually more the original style, from 50+ years ago when people didn’t have crock pots yet. The only caution is to watch the heat, because it’s easier to scorch when doing it stove-top. (And/or add more water like in the original recipe, but I prefer the crock pot method.)

    If you want even more of a one-pot meal, try Sweet And Sour Meatballs. That’s something else that is a long-time family favorite, but the way Mom made/makes them, is kinda time-consuming. It involves mixing raw ground beef with seasoning and forming meatballs and then baking/broiling them for a while first… Then simmering them in a scratch-made sauce…

    But I wanted a shortcut. So I use pre-cooked frozen meatballs (I use Cooked Perfect, the Italian style because their “traditional” meatballs have chicken in them too which is just wrong… 1 oz “dinner size”…) and I realized the original sauce is pretty close to Manwich canned sauce.

    So you just dump the package of frozen meatballs into a straight-side frying pan, add two regular-size cans of Manwich sauce (you can get Regular, or Bold, or Chunky… I wouldn’t use BBQ but someone may want to try it…) and a small 8oz can of crushed pineapple, including juice… that’s the “Sweet” part… then some red wine vinegar for the “sour”… a bit of Worcestershire Sauce if you like… Then just simmer it for 60-90 minutes, covered, stirring to avoid scorching, to thoroughly heat the meatballs and let the flavors soak in.

    That’s it!

    They’re great plain, or with mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes, or fries… anything, really.

    And it’s really easy to make a big batch for a potluck or whatever: 2 bags of meatballs, 4 cans of Manwich, 2 of crushed pineapple…

    One of the problems I had with Mom’s original recipe, even as a kid, was not enough sauce. I LIKE SAUCE! Especially these meatballs with sauce! And using Manwich, I finally get enough sauce.

    Serve over egg noodles or rice?

    • #13
  14. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I believe strongly in “one pot” meals, properly prepared. This seems like one.

    It’s pretty close. Technically, you could cook the sausage in a stove-top pot, drain, and just add the other stuff to it in the same pot. That’s actually more the original style, from 50+ years ago when people didn’t have crock pots yet. The only caution is to watch the heat, because it’s easier to scorch when doing it stove-top. (And/or add more water like in the original recipe, but I prefer the crock pot method.)

    If you want even more of a one-pot meal, try Sweet And Sour Meatballs. That’s something else that is a long-time family favorite, but the way Mom made/makes them, is kinda time-consuming. It involves mixing raw ground beef with seasoning and forming meatballs and then baking/broiling them for a while first… Then simmering them in a scratch-made sauce…

    But I wanted a shortcut. So I use pre-cooked frozen meatballs (I use Cooked Perfect, the Italian style because their “traditional” meatballs have chicken in them too which is just wrong… 1 oz “dinner size”…) and I realized the original sauce is pretty close to Manwich canned sauce.

    So you just dump the package of frozen meatballs into a straight-side frying pan, add two regular-size cans of Manwich sauce (you can get Regular, or Bold, or Chunky… I wouldn’t use BBQ but someone may want to try it…) and a small 8oz can of crushed pineapple, including juice… that’s the “Sweet” part… then some red wine vinegar for the “sour”… a bit of Worcestershire Sauce if you like… Then just simmer it for 60-90 minutes, covered, stirring to avoid scorching, to thoroughly heat the meatballs and let the flavors soak in.

    That’s it!

    They’re great plain, or with mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes, or fries… anything, really.

    And it’s really easy to make a big batch for a potluck or whatever: 2 bags of meatballs, 4 cans of Manwich, 2 of crushed pineapple…

    One of the problems I had with Mom’s original recipe, even as a kid, was not enough sauce. I LIKE SAUCE! Especially these meatballs with sauce! And using Manwich, I finally get enough sauce.

    Serve over egg noodles or rice?

    Not what I would do, but sure.  I don’t know that there’s enough sauce for rice or noodles, but that’s easily cured by using more Manwich etc.  :-)

    My youngest brother – who is also very familiar with the original – has tried this meatballs recipe and thinks it’s not quite as good, but I’ll gladly take the time-saving.

    • #14
  15. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Oh, and if you were going to use it with rice or noodles, you might want to get the packages with smaller meatballs.  Larger number of them, to equal the same total weight.

    • #15
  16. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    If you want even more of a one-pot meal, try Sweet And Sour Meatballs. That’s something else that is a long-time family favorite, but the way Mom made/makes them, is kinda time-consuming. It involves mixing raw ground beef with seasoning and forming meatballs and then baking/broiling them for a while first… Then simmering them in a scratch-made sauce…

    But I wanted a shortcut. So I use pre-cooked frozen meatballs (I use Cooked Perfect, the Italian style because their “traditional” meatballs have chicken in them too which is just wrong… 1 oz “dinner size”…) and I realized the original sauce is pretty close to Manwich canned sauce.

    So you just dump the package of frozen meatballs into a straight-side frying pan, add two regular-size cans of Manwich sauce (you can get Regular, or Bold, or Chunky… I wouldn’t use BBQ but someone may want to try it…) and a small 8oz can of crushed pineapple, including juice… that’s the “Sweet” part… then some red wine vinegar for the “sour”… a bit of Worcestershire Sauce if you like… Then just simmer it for 60-90 minutes, covered, stirring to avoid scorching, to thoroughly heat the meatballs and let the flavors soak in.

    That’s it!

    They’re great plain, or with mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes, or fries… anything, really.

    And it’s really easy to make a big batch for a potluck or whatever: 2 bags of meatballs, 4 cans of Manwich, 2 of crushed pineapple…

    One of the problems I had with Mom’s original recipe, even as a kid, was not enough sauce. I LIKE SAUCE! Especially these meatballs with sauce! And using Manwich, I finally get enough sauce.

    Serve over egg noodles or rice?

    Not what I would do, but sure. I don’t know that there’s enough sauce for rice or noodles, but that’s easily cured by using more Manwich etc. :-)

    My youngest brother – who is also very familiar with the original – has tried this meatballs recipe and thinks it’s not quite as good, but I’ll gladly take the time-saving.

    A couple of times I’ve made meatballs out of equal parts ground beef, ground lamb, and ground pork.  I add bread crumbs, an egg or two, and McCormick’s Italian herbs.  Oh, and fresh-grated Romano or Asiago cheese if I have it.  Pretty darned good.

    I fry it in its own juices in a skillet, but grilling would probably work better.

    • #16
  17. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    If you want even more of a one-pot meal, try Sweet And Sour Meatballs. That’s something else that is a long-time family favorite, but the way Mom made/makes them, is kinda time-consuming. It involves mixing raw ground beef with seasoning and forming meatballs and then baking/broiling them for a while first… Then simmering them in a scratch-made sauce…

    But I wanted a shortcut. So I use pre-cooked frozen meatballs (I use Cooked Perfect, the Italian style because their “traditional” meatballs have chicken in them too which is just wrong… 1 oz “dinner size”…) and I realized the original sauce is pretty close to Manwich canned sauce.

    So you just dump the package of frozen meatballs into a straight-side frying pan, add two regular-size cans of Manwich sauce (you can get Regular, or Bold, or Chunky… I wouldn’t use BBQ but someone may want to try it…) and a small 8oz can of crushed pineapple, including juice… that’s the “Sweet” part… then some red wine vinegar for the “sour”… a bit of Worcestershire Sauce if you like… Then just simmer it for 60-90 minutes, covered, stirring to avoid scorching, to thoroughly heat the meatballs and let the flavors soak in.

    That’s it!

    They’re great plain, or with mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes, or fries… anything, really.

    And it’s really easy to make a big batch for a potluck or whatever: 2 bags of meatballs, 4 cans of Manwich, 2 of crushed pineapple…

    One of the problems I had with Mom’s original recipe, even as a kid, was not enough sauce. I LIKE SAUCE! Especially these meatballs with sauce! And using Manwich, I finally get enough sauce.

    Serve over egg noodles or rice?

    Not what I would do, but sure. I don’t know that there’s enough sauce for rice or noodles, but that’s easily cured by using more Manwich etc. :-)

    My youngest brother – who is also very familiar with the original – has tried this meatballs recipe and thinks it’s not quite as good, but I’ll gladly take the time-saving.

    A couple of times I’ve made meatballs out of equal parts ground beef, ground lamb, and ground pork. I add bread crumbs, an egg or two, and McCormick’s Italian herbs. Oh, and fresh-grated Romano or Asiago cheese if I have it. Pretty darned good.

    I fry it in its own juices in a skillet, but grilling would probably work better.

    The various frozen meatballs have different portions of meat, and bread crumbs, and seasoning…  You can get Angus Beef, or mostly/all-Chicken…  I prefer the convenience and simplicity of using frozen meatballs, but there’s a large variety of brands and “flavors” to find something you like.  Some stores also sell them pre-mixed and -formed, but uncooked.

    • #17
  18. spaceman_spiff Member
    spaceman_spiff
    @spacemanspiff

    The RescueWife likes to make Kapusta, a Polish cabbage soup that also has tomatoes and potatoes and pork in it but she doesn’t use ground pork. Kapusta is the name American Poles call it. It’s also called Kapusniak in Poland and they don’t add the tomatoes. Saurkraut is often used instead of plain cabbage or in addition to it. My wife’s version is seriously yummy.

    • #18
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