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Square side shot of two bowls of sausage and bean soup on a dinner table
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5 from 2 votes

Sausage and Bean Soup

A simple, hearty, and nourishing sausage and bean soup is perfect cool-weather comfort food!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword bean and sausage soup, bean soup, sausage and bean soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 - 8 people (about 11-12 cups total)
Calories 195kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon, diced (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 ¼ cups)
  • 1 celery stalks, diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • ½ green bell pepper, seeded and diced (about ½ cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 13-16 ounces kielbasa sausage, sliced horizontally into ½-inch thick rounds
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme (or about ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves)
  • 1 (16 ounce) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, with juice
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley or thyme; grated Parmesan cheese


  • In a large heavy pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 7 minutes. Remove the bacon pieces from the pot and drain on paper towels. Reserve the bacon for garnish.
  • Add the onions, carrots, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and bay leaves to the bacon fat. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook the vegetables, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add the sausage to the pot and cook until the sausage is lightly browned, about 5 more minutes.
  • Stir in the thyme, navy beans, and kidney beans. Add the tomatoes, crushing the tomatoes with your fingers as you add them to the pot. Add the chicken broth, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprig. Season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  • Ladle into bowls and top with the reserved bacon, grated cheese, and additional fresh herbs.


  • Crock Pot Instructions: If you prefer the convenience of the slow cooker, you can also prepare this hearty soup in the Crock Pot! Simply sauté the bacon, sausage, and vegetables as instructed on the stovetop, then transfer them to a slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients, cover, and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours.
  • Instead of the kielbasa, use a different type of sausage. Other varieties of smoked sausage work equally well, or you can use fully-cooked Italian sausage.
  • For extra veggies, add fresh spinach at the very end, or add kale or swiss chard when there's about 10 minutes left so that it the greens have time to wilt in the hot soup.
  • I use chicken broth, but vegetable broth will also work well.
  • Spicy: add a dash of cayenne or garnish with crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Add a splash of apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice at the end for a bright, acidic finishing touch.
  • Smoked sausage and bacon can be quite salty, so I recommend using low-sodium chicken broth and seasoning with herbs. You can always season with salt and pepper to taste at the end.
  • Use even more fresh herbs. In addition to thyme, try parsley, rosemary, chives, basil, or oregano.
  • Puree or mash some of the beans (and veggies) to thicken the soup. You can use a potato masher or an immersion blender.
  • The soup just gets better as it sits in the fridge, so feel free to make a pot in advance and reheat the leftovers the next day. It will have great flavor and texture!


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 820mg | Potassium: 547mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2698IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 5mg