Red Beans and Rice Soup

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Red Beans and Rice Soup
Makes 8 servings

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
1 pound fully cooked smoked andouille sausage
3 (15 ½)-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (12-ounce) bag frozen collard greens
10 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt
Coarse-ground pepper
4 cups cooked white or brown rice, kept warm
4 green onions, chopped, for serving
Cornbread croutons, for serving

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

Add the onion, celery, and pepper to the pot and cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and Creole seasoning and cook 1 additional minute.

Cut the sausage in half lengthwise and slice it crosswise into ¼-inch thick pieces. Rinse and drain the beans. Add the chicken broth, sausage, beans, collards, and bay leaf to the vegetable mixture and simmer for 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Spoon the rice into bowls and ladle with the soup. Sprinkle the soup with bacon and green onions and serve with cornbread croutons.

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