Monday, June 29, 2009

North Woods Bean Soup

My mom originally gave me the recipe for this soup. It's really easy to make and very healthy for you as well, and it's tasty too. :-) I did modify it a little bit, adding the pasta, and the original recipe called for you to blend it a little in the food processor, but I've never done that.  I have found I do like it better without the pasta.

-cooking spray
-1 cup baby carrots, halved (you can chop these up a little more if you want them soft. They are still a little crunchy in the soup, but we like it that way and it means more vitamins) :-)
-1 cup chopped onion (or I used 2 Tbsp dried minced onion)
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-7oz turkey sausage, halved lengthwise & cut into 1/2" pieces
-4 cups chicken broth
-1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning (if you add the pasta, add an additional 1/2 tsp)
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-2 cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
-6oz bag fresh baby spinach leaves
-1/2 - 1 cup small pasta (like macaroni or small seashells), optional, leave out for gluten/wheat free (I used 1 cup macaroni)Directions
Boil water in medium saucepan and prepare your pasta according to package instructions for al dente pasta and set aside. Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, garlic, & turkey sausage, saute about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium, and add broth, Italian seasoning, pepper, & beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add cooked pasta & spinach to your soup. This will look like a lot of spinach, but it will cook way down, I promise! Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the spinach fully wilts.

Variation: Originally this recipe didn't call for pasta, so by all means, if you like, add more or less pasta or totally leave it out. Remember, if you add the pasta, it's better with an extra 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning.

Makes about 8 cups, 200 calories per cup with 1 cup pasta & dried minced onion

Crockpot: Add all ingredients to crockpot except pasta and spinach. Stir, cover, and cook on high 4-6 hours or high 8-10.  Turn crockpot on high, add pasta for 30 minutes of cooking.  Stir in spinach last 5 minutes of cooking.

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