Monday, September 14

Good Eating Monday: Tuscan Bean Soup w/ Keilbasa

It's been so cool the past two days we turned the A/C off and opened the house up! It was so nice getting in some fresh air in!
But a low is coming in by Wednesday with rain, so good-bye sweet fall temperatures!
Today's Good Eating Recipe is: Tuscan Bean Soup w/ Kielbasa! 
It's based on a Pinterest recipe I found, which called for fresh zucchini, yellow squash, celery, carrots and kale. I skipped the kale and celery. For me, buying a bundle of celery just for a couple stalks for some recipe isn't worthwhile, since I usually end up throwing the rest away after a couple months. It just sits there, unused.
This Tuscan Bean Soup is supposed to be a "meatless meal," but my Hubby isn't into "meatless" anything, though he gave the first round of soup a fair try. He really wanted some Kielbasa added to what was still left to eat! So, that's my why Tuscan Soup has Kielbasa in it--and actually, it was better.

When I decided I was going to buy frozen squash & carrots for this recipe, I wasn't sure exactly what I'd find at the grocery. I was prepared to buy frozen squash & frozen carrots separately---but I discovered this: VIP Quality Plus Healthy Garden Blend!

It's a mix of zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, broccoli & soybeans!
It's a 14 oz bag. It worked fantastic!
Now I don't know what you'll find at your grocery. Really, you can use any veggies you prefer and I'll include quantities for fresh squash & carrots, so you can do fresh.
This photo is my actual soup before I ate it for dinner.
Easy Tuscan Bean Soup w/Kielbasa
2 (14oz) cans of white beans (Cannellini, Navy, Northern)
1 (14oz can) diced tomatoes with juices
1 (14oz) can creamed corn
1 (14oz) frozen bag of VIP Healthy Garden Blend zucchini, yellow squash, carrots & broccoli OR
OR any combination of plain frozen veggies you like.
(OR Fresh: 
2 whole carrots minced plus 1 medium zucchini and 1 to 2 yellow squash, sliced & halved.)
3 cups of low-salt broth from a carton or 3 cups of water mixed 4 packets low-salt bouillon.
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Rosemary, dried
1/4 teaspoon ground Thyme, dried
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar or white vinegar or red wine--whatever you got.)
Optional Meat:
1 Kielbasa, sliced & halved. (Our favorite is Hillshire Hardwood Chicken Smoked)

Combine all the above ingredients in a pot of adequate size on the stove-top or in a slow-cooker. On the stove-top bring soup to boil, then reduce to simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. 
 If you use a slow-cooker, cook on low for 5 hours. 
If you can make it a day ahead and can let it rest overnight in the frig, the flavor enriches.
Serve with garlic bread or cornbread.
The reason I added creamed corn to my soup is because the original Pinterest recipe required "partially" blending the soup into a smooth, yet still chunky form--and I thought, "Are you kidding me?"  Who wants to spend their valuable time half-smoothing out a whole pot of soup?
  That immediately made that ladies "easy" recipe not easy at all!
 Adding the creamed corn gives the soup a little thickness plus an added layer of flavor.
That's it for today!

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