Monday, February 4, 2013

North Woods Bean Soup

Beans, beans, the magical food! The more you eat, the more you toot! The more you toot, the better you feel, so eat beans at every meal!  

An old song from when I was young. I still think of it anytime beans come up because apparently I have the maturity level of a 10 year old. Anyways, this is a pretty satisfying and hearty soup but I still feel like it could use some additional kick flavor-wise so I like to add Tabasco sauce. I also think it could use more kielbasa but then that kicks up the calorie count a bit higher than I'd like. And I might like it better with a different kind of sausage as I don't think I'm a big turkey kielbasa fan. Anyways, I think this is a good starting point for a soup that can be tweaked according to tastes.  

Servings: 5 (although for me I can easily make this a 2-3 night meal)

1 cup baby carrots, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
7 oz turkey kielbasa, halved lengthwise and then chopped in ½-inch pieces (if you want a heartier dish add more kielbasa - can probably even add up to double)
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 (15.8-ounce) cans of Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 (6-ounce) bag of fresh baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
Cooking spray


  • Heat Dutch oven over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add 1 cup chopped onion, 1 cup chopped carrots, 2 minced garlic cloves, and 7 oz chopped kielbasa.  Saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add 6 cups chicken broth, ½ tsp thyme, ½ tsp oregano, 1 tsp crushed red pepper, 2 cans of Northern beans, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  (If you’d like a smoother soup, after 5 minutes you can blend 2-3 cups of the soup mixture and process it until smooth and then return it back to the pan.)
  • Remove soup from heat and mix in 1 bag of baby spinach leaves and 1 tbsp chopped parsley.  Stir into soup until spinach wilts.  
(Try not to trip over any lurking pugs camped out by the stove.)
  • I like to add some dashes of Tabasco sauce before eating to add some acid but if you don’t want the spice, a few dashes of your favorite vinegar would work too.
Beware of lurking pugs!
Inspired by My Recipes.

(Update 5/21/13: I made this again and used Trader Joe's jalapeno chicken sausage, doubled the sausage portion and added a splash of apple cider vinegar at the end (in addition to the Tabasco sauce I add to each bowl for a spice kick) and this was much better!  I also added extra fresh parsley which I think I forgot to use the first time I made it and that made a big difference too.)


  1. I, too, am really into soup right now. This sounds delicious. I've been making a cassoulet that calls for kielbasa. Mmmm.... kielbasa! However, I was making it for dinner with a friend that suffers from chronic migraines and she tries to avoid nitrates. I substituted Aidelles' Roasted Garlic and Gorgonzola sausages instead and I think I liked it even better!! It was a surprising (and healthier!) alternative to delicious kielbasa!! :)

    1. That sounds like a delicious alternative! It's amazing how you can switch up a soup's taste with a simple change of the sausage used!