- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 cups water
- 1⁄2 lb smoked ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 12 ounces dried red beans, soaked in water overnight and drained
- 1⁄2 lb fully cooked smoked andouille sausages or 1⁄2 lb other smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- hot cooked rice
- Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes. Stir in water, ham, salt, thyme, oregano, black pepper, ground red pepper and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover; simmer 1 hour.
- Add beans to ham mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 1 hour or until beans are tender.
- Carefully ladle 1 cup bean mixture into food processor or blender container. Cover; process until mixture is smooth. Returnpureed mixture to Dutch oven; stir in sausage and tomato paste.
- Cook, uncovered, over medium heat 10 minutes or until thickened and bubbly, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves; discard. Serve in bowls over hot cooked rice.