Saturday, September 12, 2009

French Market Bean Soup with Seitan Merguez Sausage

This soup is based on a recipe I got from my friend Sue last winter. I believe she said she got it from a magazine many years ago. If you want to see the original recipe check this link. My husband really enjoyed this soup last year and requested I make it again a couple of weeks ago. Since the temperature did not get out of the 60’s today a hearty bowl of bean soup sounded like the perfect dinner meal.

I added the seitan merguez sausage to my version because it is a French soup and the French adore merguez. Additionally, I thought the flavors would work well and add a different dimension to the soup. Bay leaves were added for aroma and because I have read that bay and kombu help the body to digest the beans resulting in less gas. Whether is true or not I don’t know, but the aroma of bay is nice that I always add it to beans. Sweet paprika was added for color, vitamin C and because it is also in the merguez.

Tonight we are having this soup with sun-dried tomato and herb whole wheat focaccia and pinzimonio (raw vegetables and flavored oil). I will post those recipes later this evening.

French Market Bean Soup with Seitan Merguez Sausage
Serves 6


1 pound dry 16 mixed beans, rinsed and picked through
water to cover the beans by 2 inches
2 bay leaves
½ cup hulled barley
28 ounces of diced tomato
1 yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon of hot crushed peppers (wet hots)
½ tablespoon sweet paprika
2 seitan merguez sausages, cut in half length wise and then into ¼ inch half moons
zest and juice from 2 lemons
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Cover the beans with water and bring to a boil. Put the lid on the pot and turn off the heat. Allow the beans to stand for one hour. After one hour remove the lid and bring the beans to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Add the 2 bay leaves and barley and cook until the beans are tender. The time this will take depends on the age of the beans. Expect them to need to cook for at least an hour and a half.

When the beans are tender add the tomato, onion, garlic, hot crushed peppers, and merguez sauce and cook another half an hour.

Before serving add the lemon juice and zest and stir into the soup. I save the lemon juice to the end since it seems to get bitter if cooked too long.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 375.48
Calories From Fat (15%) - 54.55

Total Fat - 6.44g
Saturated Fat - 0.67g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 84.63mg
Potassium - 1080.25mg
Total Carbohydrates - 57.9g
Fiber - 16g
Sugar - 12.94g
Protein - 25.42g


Bean soup is always a filling meal and this version is no different. The first flavor that hits your tongue is the tomato, followed by paprika and a subtle hint of acidity from the lemon. Beans provide a creamy texture and the seitan merguez adds a little chew. This soup was a winner tonight with everyone, omnivores included. Serve this soup with a nice whole wheat bread and salad and you have a nutritionally complete and filling meal.


  1. hey its me! just checking out what you have been doing, and it looks great as usual. i will be sending you an email soon, stuff has been good here.

  2. Michelle,

    Glad you checked it and that things are good. Can't wait to hear all the good stuff.


  3. i love barley also so def need to try this recipe. also i havent tried making my own lentils or beans, unless you count a truly botched job of split peas...which i try not to remember. so im a little nervous, but it sounds simple enough.

  4. Michelle,

    Making beans is really easy when you get the hang of it. What was wrong with your split peas, too firm, too soft or too bland?

    The nice thing about this recipe is that the smaller beans fall apart and add creaminess to the soup while the larger beans remain more intact giving the soup body. The barley was included in the original recipe which is why I added it here. Barley is great for reducing cholesterol, better than oatmeal.



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