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White Bean and Sausage Soup

All of the soups I make seem to begin with sautéing an onion and some carrots and celery, and this one is no exception. 
This soup is versatile enough that you can substitute different vegetables and beans and it will still taste great. The mashed navy beans give it a creamy texture without adding any dairy. It is filling enough to serve at dinner with a crusty bun or one of our samosas.
1 cup navy beans, soaked overnight in water
1 large onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
4 Italian sausages, defrosted (this time I used our Beyond Meat Sausages, but I also regularly use pork and chicken Italian sausages as well)
8 cups water
1 cup fresh spinach
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Drain and rinse the navy beans, then add to a pot with 6 cups of water and boil until tender (approximately 30 minutes). Drain again and place in a large bowl. Use a potato masher to gently mash the beans into a paste. 
2. In a large soup pot, heat the garlic olive oil and then sauté the onion, carrots and celery.
3. When the onion is translucent, remove the sausage from it's casing (if there is a casing - the Beyond Meat Sausage does not have any) and add to the pot. Stir and break into pieces as the sausage cooks.
4. When the sausage is cooked (no longer translucent), add the chicken soup base and water and bring to a boil.
5. Stir in the navy bean paste and the spinach and simmer for 5 minutes to let the spinach wilt.
6. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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