1 pound smoked sausage (preferably andouille), quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch wedges
1 large onion, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and minced
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or dried thyme)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or fine sea salt)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or fine sea salt)
5 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
Cooked long grain white rice
Minced green onions
Hot sauce (Tabasco)
Soak the beans: Soak the beans overnight: Sort the kidney beans, removing broken beans, stones, and dirt clods. Rinse the beans, put them in a large container with the tablespoon of salt, and cover with 2 quarts water. Let the beans soak overnight (at least 8 hours).
Sauté the aromatics and sausage: Heat the oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the smoked sausage, onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, and sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute, stirring often, until the onions ans sausage are brown around the edges, about 8 minutes.
Pressure cook the beans: Drain and rinse the beans. Pour the beans into the pressure cooker, add the bay leaves and 1 teaspoon of salt, and then stir in the water. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes in an electric PC or 12 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure release naturally, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid carefully, opening away from you – even when it’s not under pressure, the steam in the cooker is very hot.
Thicken and serve: Discard the bay leaves. Ladle out 2 cups of the beans and bean liquid, puree, and pour back into the pot. (I do this in a quart measuring cup with my stick blender.) If you have time, simmer uncovered for another fifteen minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve.