So as I was uploading some pics that I took this afternoon, I realized that I'd missed a post. A delicious, delicious soup! So here we go.
Soak beans for at least a few hours, preferably overnight (or two days as it happens...).
Drain and rinse beans, then add 4-5 c. broth (one carton), and 3 c. of water.
Add some spices (bay leaf, paprika, cumin, etc.) and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.
Chop some shallots and add that to the simmering beans/stock. Cut an inch off of a package of bacon, and fry it up, but please don't take pictures of it. When tasty, toss cooked bacon pieces in soup. Leave the fat in the pan.
Chop up a small red onion and fry it in the bacon fat. When it's nearly cooked, add a chopped clove of garlic as well*. When these are properly fried, toss them in the soup, still leaving the fat in the pan. Think that you have not enough fat, so fry some more bacon and still don't take pictures of it. Toss the fried bacon into the soup.
Roughly chop three sausages (pre-cooked or otherwise -- I cooked mine the other day) and fry them until beautifully browned in the bacon fat. If needed, add some olive oil. When the sausage is done, please put aside.
Preheat oven to 500F. Chop veggies of your choice (I had some carrots that needed eating and a potato or two). Pour olive oil and some salt over veggies, roll them around to ensure that they are fully coated with olive oil and salt. When oven is preheated, roast the veggies, stirring occasionally, until they are browned.
When the beans are fully cooked (a.k.a. soft but not mushy), toss in the sausage and roasted veggies. Serve with some cheese and cornbread.
Note to self: Jiff is too sweet to put cheddar cheese on the top. Still delicious, but an odd combo.
* N.B. #1: onion and garlic are amazing fried, but while you want onions to get translucent and brown, you merely want the garlic toasted. If it's brown it'll taste burnt.
N.B. #2: the easiest way that I've found to chop garlic is this: peel the clove, then with the flat of your knife, smoosh it. Just lean on it until you feel it give. It'll then be much easier to dice.