This is a great winter dish! Thick and warming with a rich flavor.
1 pound dry navy beans
1/2 onion, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1, 14 oz. beef smoked sausage, cubed (I used Hillshire Farm brand)
2 medium sized carrots, diced (or sliced if you prefer)
3 large stalks celery, sliced
1/2 medium zucchini, halfed lengthwise and then sliced
5 or 6 good sized russet potatoes, peeled and diced
Sort navy beans and put in a large pot. Cover with plenty of water. Add chopped onion and garlic, and a bit of salt (not too much because the sausage will be salty too.) Heat to a boil and simmer for about an hour and a half to two hours or until beans are tender.
Add sausage, carrots, celery, zucchini, and potatoes, and let simmer for about 45 minutes to a hour, until all veggies are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add water as needed, or if you like more broth in your soup. Serve piping hot with soft buttered bread.
This soup would probably be really good with about half a red bell pepper, chopped, and added with the rest of the veggies. It would add some lovely color too!