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With summer taking its sweet time to get to Northern California, I was tossed another rainy day and decided it was time to get the soup pot out to create a tasty concoction. On the menu = Mixed Bean & Sausage Soup.

As a thank you for your continued reading, I thought it would be fun to spice up my blog post and do a reader give-away. While I seldom do these, when I spoke with the folks at Bertolli, and saw the lovely gift they wanted to pass along, I decided to break from the norm and say ‘yes, I’d love to!’. After this recipe read more on how to win!

Mixed Bean & Sausage Soup

2 TBS olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 ribs celery, strings removed and rough cut

1 lb mild sausage, casings removed

1 (1 lb bag) mixed beans, dried

1 bay leaf

1 ham hock

12 cups water

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup uncooked short grain white rice


In a large-size stock pot, on medium heat, add oil and onions and cook until translucent. Add in carrots and celery, stirring constantly so that the vegetables do not brown. Breaking up sausage into small pieces, add into the pot with the vegetables and cook until the meat is no longer pink.

Add water,beans, and bay leaf; cook on medium-high heat until mixture comes to a full boil. Allow to boil for 30 minutes, with lid partially covering pot. Salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low, and place lid on pot. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Check to ensure there is at least 1/2-inch of water on the top of the soup; if needed, add more water. Return soup to a boil and add in rice, stir until well mixed, cover and cook on low for 30 minutes.

Remove ham hock and bay leaf and serve.

Bertolli Give-away

How to win?

Leave a comment about your favorite wine and cheese pairing, then tell me why you would enjoy winning this gift.

What you’ll win…

To complement the fresh, authentic flavors of your favorite Bertolli frozen meal, they will provide you with all of the tools to prepare a delicious antipasto di formaggio platter, including:

· Slate Cheese Board and Chalk Set

· Set of 3 Cheese Tools

· “Cheese & Wine” Pairing Book

· Set of 3 Pronutto Wine Jellies to complement your cheeses

· Tasting Certificate for a free Bertolli frozen meal

(I am a huge fan of the stuffed pasta shells)

The antipasto di formaggio platter is perfect for enjoying a variety of fine Italian artisan cheeses before you prepare your favorite Bertolli Meal. From pungent asiago to buttery fontina, Italian cheeses provide an abundance of culinary possibilities and are just as delectable on their own, or simply paired with a lovely glass of wine.

And if you want to double your chances of winning – and you fancy yourself an Italy aficionado – check out Bertolli Tastes of Italy! Map on Facebook. Upload a tip, story, recipe, or photo from your favorite region of Italy, as a bonus form of entry.

Fine print: Despite how much I adore all of my foreign readers this offer is only good in the United States. Thank you to Bertolli for sending the set to me and offering one to my readers.

9 Replies to “Sausage & Bean Soup – Spicing Up the Post”

  1. Wine + Cheese = match made in Heaven!

    My favorite hard cheeses are Manchego (the Spanish varietal) and Gruyere. My favorite soft cheese is brie. Lucky for me? They all pair beautifully with Cabernet Sauvignon!

    – LTV Mom

  2. My favorite cheese would be mozzarella. I love eating mozzarella with basil, tomatoes, olive oil, salt&pepper with sourdough bread and with a nice glass of Chardonnay!

  3. A full Italian meal with wine and cheese…here what I love

    Antipasto: I like Campari Soda (not a wine but what the heck) and celery stuffed with gorgonzola cheese
    Primo: Prosecco and Crescenza (so hard to find a good one in the US)
    Secondo: Chianti and Mozzarella di Bufala
    Dolce: Passito di Pantelleria and Torta di ricotta

    Cheese and Wine…the book and set will be great addition for my “contorno”…Grazie!

  4. How to choose?! It’s like choosing my favorite child. But, if you insist..brie. I love it everyway possible: stuffed with chopped basil, garlic and olive oil with a glass of zinfandel, chopped in teeny pieces and dropped into mini phyllo cups with a dollop of fig jam and cooked to gooey loveliness with a glass (or 2) of Pinot Grigio, served plain at room temperature with a glass of Champagne. It’s a cheese for all seasons (and wines!)

  5. Definitely hard to choose but…

    Fennel pollen goat cheese is my favorite cheese. Well actually.. any goat cheese is my fave. I usually pair it with a Sauvignon Blanc. It’s perfect with honey and fig spread!

    I would love to win this basket because I usually have the wine and the meal, but no cheese!

  6. My favorite would as if you were eating Caprese. Tomato, fresh mozzerella, chopped basil, salt and pepper to taste with a light spritz of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Pair that with a nice Red Zinfandel and you’ve got it!!!

  7. I just love wine and cheese! MMMmmm

    My hubbie and I are taking a trip to Italia for our 10-year anni later this year, which means I have definitely been on an Italian wine and cheese kick these days! I am enjoying a cheese called Grana Padano (which is similar to but creamier than Parmigiano) paired with some of Santa Barbara’s Italian-style wines — specifically, Palmina Nebbiolo Stolpman Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley!!

    I would love to win this cool basket as I love entertaining and each time I do, wine and cheese are most definitely a part of it 🙂

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