1Cut sausage into 2-inch pieces and halve sausage pieces lengthwise, cutting to but not through the other side. Cook half of the sausage in 1 tbsp. hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer sausage and drippings to a 7-qt. slow cooker. Repeat with remaining sausage and oil.
2Add 1 cup broth to skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Boil 1 minute or until reduced by half. Stir beans, next 8 ingredients, boiled broth mixture, 3 cups water, and remaining broth into slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 7 hours or until beans are tender. Discard cheese rind.
3Stir mixture with rosemary sprig 30 seconds to 1 minute; discard rosemary. Remove 1 cup beans and process in a blender 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Stir pureed bean mixture into slow cooker (repeat procedure with 1 more cup beans, if a thicker consiistency is desired). Serve immediately.