Thursday, September 01, 2005

North Woods Bean Soup

Source: Cooking Light, J/F 2002.

Pureeing some of the soup lends body to the dish. Stir in fresh spinach after the soup is removed from heat so it won't overcook and lose its bright color.

Cooking spray
1 cup baby carrots, halved
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
7 ounces turkey kielbasa, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 (15.8-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 (6-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach leaves

Heat a large saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, garlic, and kielbasa; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes. Add the broth, Italian seasoning, pepper, and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

Place 2 cups of the soup in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Return the pureed mixture to pan. Simmer an additional 5 minutes. Remove soup from heat. Add the spinach, stirring until spinach wilts.

Yield: 5 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

NUTRITION PER SERVING: CALORIES 227(15% from fat); FAT 3.9g (sat 1.2g,mono 1.3g,poly 1.2g); PROTEIN 18.1g; CHOLESTEROL 26mg; CALCIUM 112mg; SODIUM 750mg; FIBER 6.7g; IRON 3.5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 30.8g

My notes: This soup is easy, nutritious and delicious. I love that the sausage makes you feel like you're cheating - it makes the soup hearty and full of flavor. Both of my boys really love this soup too - always a plus when you can please adults and kids alike.

I cook this soup with a different process than written by Cooking Light. My modifications are to accomodate the fact that pureeing the sausage doesn't appeal to - I'd rather have more to bite into - while on the other hand, I'd rather NOT have bits of carrot to bite into.

So, I start out with some olive oil (no cooking spray for my non-stick pans) and saute the onions, garlic and carrot. I then add the broth and spices and simmer until the carrot is soft. I then puree the whole mixture along with about a 1/2 can of beans. The carrots lend a very nice color to the broth and I can have the nutrition of carrots without the taste I don't care for. After pureeing, I add the beans and sausage and simmer for about 10 minutes, adding the spinach at the very end.

I talked about this recipe HERE and HERE.

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