North Woods Bean Soup

  • irishmaiden222 Posted: 11/02/10
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    Very good, very easy! The only thing I will change is a little less broth. I think I would prefer it to be a little thicker. Served it with a hearty whole grain bread.

  • CarolIac Posted: 12/31/10
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    Delicious! Doubled the garlic and used turkey sausage.

  • nansmi Posted: 04/05/09
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    I'm in Denver and it's cold and snowing, so thought this soup would be perfect. My husband and I really enjoyed it. Only change I made was to add some red pepper flakes because we like a little more spice. Served with some garlic toast and a fruit salad for dessert. Made enough for two meals. Will definitely make again.

  • demopo Posted: 10/04/10
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    My husband did not like this at all; he said there were too many competing flavors. I liked it, but thought it was nothing great...I followed the recipe, but added a bit more garlic and pepper. Since only I ate it, I will not make this again.

  • Debbie17 Posted: 01/06/11
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    I gave it 3 stars, like another reader said she would if she had not made some modifications. I made the soup as directed and it was fine, but not so special. So, like some other readers, I sauteed the other sausage that came in the pack with 3 more cloves of garlic. I then pureed that with a little soup and added it back. It then became a z5 star recipe.

  • ejohnsoz Posted: 01/02/10
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    I made this to take to work for lunch and plan to have a salad on the side. It's excellent. I doubled the garlic and spices and added salt to taste, and also used a bit of canola oil instead of nonstick spray. One hint - I have yet to meet the "pan" that can accommodate 4 cups of liquid. You have to transfer it to a "pot" after sauteeing. Will definitely make this again.

  • ChefLindsay510 Posted: 12/02/08
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    This soup was easy to make and requires very inexpensive ingredients. It's extremely flavorful, and a big plus-my husband who doesn't like green veggies will eat this soup without a fuss! It's great with Jiffy cornbread!

  • DebraV Posted: 01/19/11
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    This is the second time making this recipe - we just love it. I didn't change a thing. Sent some over to my Dad who made a point to call me and tell me how much he enjoyed it. I found a big round loaf of crusty bread to go with it.

  • amcrevasse Posted: 02/11/10
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    Perfect recipe for being snowed in. Followed other reviews and added 2 teas of italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes for some spice and threw the whole bag of spinach in. Also added the whole package of kielbasa. Delicious!

  • scargosun Posted: 11/03/09
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    OMG! I made this last night and thought it was good. Today I had it for lunch and it was AMAZING! Seriously one of the best soups I have ever had. Will make again...double to freeze.

  • Lbwilk Posted: 01/06/11
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    Wow. The previous reviewers were right -- this recipe is delicious. I found myself enjoying it more and more with every bite. I doubled the garlic and added shaved Asiago cheese on top. Served with hot cornbread muffins -- fantastic meal!

  • nanakay Posted: 11/22/10
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    Fabulous, easy and delicious! I let it simmer while we were having cocktails. I added the spinach right before serving. My company left with the recipe. That's always a sign it's a keeper.

  • boogeley Posted: 01/12/09
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    Probably just as great as written, but I used Trader Joe's vegetarian italian sausage, added celery, and used oregano, basil, and herbs de provence (2 tsp total), plus I had a parmesan rind so I threw that in. Might try a can of tomatoes too next time. Very hearty with lots of flavor.

  • ToniAnn45 Posted: 12/08/10
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    Instead of spinach, I added kale from our garden. Absolutely delicious & very healthy.

  • teresama Posted: 01/10/11
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    We thought the flavor was unbeatable, but I would have liked more broth and less beans...I am going to try one can, instead of two, northern beans next time. Otherwise, no need to keep searching for the 'ultimate' northern bean soup recipe. Still 5 stars!!

  • KelliCooks Posted: 01/06/09
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    Quick, easy, inexpensive and tasty. What more could you want? I think it would be easy to tweak the spices to adapt to what ingredients you have on hand also. Great go-to.

  • NutsinNormal Posted: 04/04/09
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    Count me as another fan of this easy, yet satisfying, soup. My husband liked it even more than I did, which is saying a lot... I served it with CL's Ugly Bread, which made for a cozy dinner on a cold Saturday night.

  • electrolam Posted: 12/28/10
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    I've made this soup with the Turkey Kielbasa and also with the leftover ham from Xmas Dinner. Both ways were absolutely outstanding. There is nothing I would change, great recipe!

  • Sitara Posted: 01/24/10
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    I lost this recipe after making it once and was so glad it was easy to find again! Super easy, flavors layer beautifully, and my 9-year old scarfed it down in minutes and asked for seconds. How can you top that?

  • TriShacker Posted: 01/11/10
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    This was so easy to make that I was suprised it was so good. Great for a cold winter night at home and I saved leftovers to bring for lunch. I will defintely make it again. I served it with a side salad. I followed the instructions exactly, but I did add some celery in with the carrot and onion because I had some extra that I needed to use.

  • greenbean320 Posted: 02/19/10
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    This was a delicious soup. I would suggest making a double batch. It went too quickly.

  • graciegus Posted: 04/06/09
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    Love this soup. Make it all of the time. A definite staple for quick and easy dinners at our house. Any leftovers I freeze in single serving portions for a quick lunch to grab on the way out the door to work. I use the shredded carrots from Trader Joes and it works perfectly.

  • eggplant Posted: 12/29/10
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    This was wonderful. DH said this one is a keeper, I agree.

  • tracydoran Posted: 09/22/10
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    I have been making this recipe for years, its easy and very filling. It is one of our favorites during those very cold winter nights here in New York.

  • Jazzy1 Posted: 01/29/11
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    I followed the recipe exactly, and the soup was delicious. I added a cup of steamed cabbage to my serving for extra vegetables. It was awesome. I had a slice of Texas Toast with it.

  • elenaash Posted: 03/07/11
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    Seriously delicious and easy to make. No changes.

  • ColoradoShannon Posted: 11/15/09
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    Easy and delicious. I added an additional clove of garlic, a little more sausage, and doubled the seasoning... turned out wonderfully.

  • floridacooks Posted: 12/24/10
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    This is a regular in our house. Excellent, great seasoning to it and I'm not a real big soup person, but this gets made very often in the cooler months.

  • Chicagobsw Posted: 03/02/11
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    Watch how much garlic is added...as much as a garlic-lover I am, I should have stuck with what the recipe called for...Next time, I will! :-)

  • Rondle Posted: 12/09/09
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    EASY, wonderful, tasteful, colorful...Love it

  • KCfoodie Posted: 01/10/10
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    I have been making this for over 3 years now and look forward to Winter just to make this soup. I have served to family and Lenten suppers at church. It is just fantastic and so easy. Don't skimp on the spinach. Throw in the whole bag per the recipe.

  • RN2Cook Posted: 11/01/10
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    Loved this soup, the kids loved this soup. Easy to prepare with ingredients commonly found in the pantry. Served with grilled cheese sandwiches for the boys and salad for adults. Definitely will prepare again.

  • Iloveit Posted: 01/31/10
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    Felt this was a 3* recipe, but became a 5* after doubling garlic, adding 1 tsp ea basil, oregano & some fresh thyme, adding another can of beans after pureeing and using 12 oz turkey andouille sausage & more spinach. This gave it a little more substance, and I think did not compromise the healthy recipe. Great flavor! Loved it.

  • Pam410 Posted: 02/09/10
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    I loved this. I made two batches of it. 1 for my husband and son and put red pepper flakes in it to spice it up and the other batch I brought to work. IT WAS A HIT!!!!!

  • CaliMommy Posted: 05/27/10
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    We really enjoyed this. I did what some others suggested and added an extra can of beans, and doubled the recipe. I also used fresh thyme, oregano, basil and parsley. A little dash of red pepper too. I think I'll add more meat next time. Served it with some crusty bread. Will make this again! :)

  • steponme Posted: 09/28/10
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    This was a tasty satisfying meal. I would have never thought to puree some of the soup and return it to the pot to give it that creamy velvety texture! I served with crusty french bread for dipping in the delicious broth.

  • ESmith6 Posted: 03/05/11
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Delicious soup! I've made it twice now and loved it both times. The first time I used hot italian turkey sausage instead of the kielbasa. Different flavors but it's good both ways. I will definitely make this again.

  • LToner Posted: 02/17/11
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    I LOVE this soup! I keep it made up and in my freezer for a quick and easy meal. It really excellent!

  • JennifersUnique Posted: 10/31/10
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    Amazing recipe. A true find! Doubled spices, doubled garlic, added a can of black eyed peas (mashed before I added), added half can of diced tomatoes. I am glad I made double the recipe! Also good with a little red pepper and sour cream. Served with French bread.

  • No Longer Registered Posted: 12/15/10
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    This is a beautiful thing. Simple, healthy and most of all, delicious. The only thing I changed was I saute the veggies in a little olive oil instead of using cooking spray, and added more Italian seasoning to suit our taste. Reheats wonderful.

  • StarrK Posted: 09/21/10
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    I haven't met a man who doesn't love this soup! If you are looking for a dish that men will eat up....this is it. Of course, the women are pretty fond of it, too :)

  • CCWJBW Posted: 01/05/11
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    Could be better with a more flavorful sausage

  • Girlycook Posted: 11/03/10
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    Seriously, you have to make this dish. It's not only cheap to make, it's incredibly easy, quick and delicious! Next day leftovers for lunch were even better! I would be delighted to eat this soup at any nice restaurant. I used all of the Kielbasa sausage (i.e. 14oz) and added another cup of stock, a little dried onion flakes and garlic powder to the recipe. The spinach was so pretty as the finishing touch, and made the dish taste and feel very healthy. :)

  • jessica13572468 Posted: 01/07/11
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    Amazing. Simply amazing. I would 100% make this recipe again! It was so hard not to pick out & eat all the kielbasa :)

  • stra23 Posted: 12/27/10
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    Although the soup had a nice smokey kind of flavor and was easy to make, it looked nothing like the photograph. I followed the directions exactly, but it came out completely different than what I had expected. It was more mushy than soupy. This is one recipe that I won't write home about, and will probably not make again. My family was not crazy about it unfortunately.

  • lisam222 Posted: 12/24/10
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    I've been making a variation for years-a cool-weather go-to. I stock up on turkey sausage when it goes on sale, buy a large bag of frozen chopped spinach to keep on hand in the freezer, and always have chicken stock and beans in the pantry (I use cannelini). For a heartier meal I add whole wheat pasta, like shells or elbows, and let it all simmer together. Sprinkle some parmesian or romano on top and it's delicious! Talk about comfort food!

  • Oblivity Posted: 01/02/11
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    Another easy and delicious recipe from cooking light! I'll make this one at least twice a month for a week night meal. I used an immersion hand blender and saved some time with the transferring and the clean up. I served this with some french bread and a sprinkle of freshly grated parm. I could see this working with any kind of leftover meat or greens that are in season.

  • BridgetteL Posted: 12/25/10
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    I managed to take a perfectly healthy recipe and make it unhealthy - but it was fabulous. I was short on chicken broth so I added 1 can of cream of chicken soup. Next time I'll be sure to make sure I have all/enough of all ingrediants but I have to say...it wasn't a bad substitution.

  • JHN2003 Posted: 12/28/10
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    This is a great tasting soup that's easy to make and delicious. I love the kielbasa flavor and with the beans its very filling and hearty. Its so easy that even my fiance can make it! Its perfect for a cold winter night or great on a ski trip.

  • Kilyena Posted: 05/13/11
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    Delicious! Can't say enough about this recipe. Only change we made was doubled the kielbasa. It's fast and easy and oh sooo good!!

  • DJHorak Posted: 08/16/11
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    I did not have all the same ingredients, so I was forced to substitute the spinach for kale and the kielbasa for hot turkey sausage and it was still outstanding. Highly recommend this soup!!!

  • megshead Posted: 09/05/11
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    I love this soup. I discovered it last year and have made it once a month since. My only advice is as follows. 1) Cut the kielbasa into smaller pieces - it goes better with the size of the beans and the other veggies 2) Brown the Kielbasa first before adding the veggies - it gives it better color 3) when you puree the 2 cups, use as few beans as possible, or add more beans the recipe requires. 4) The recipe does not explain that you are pureeing everything in those 2 cups (beans, sausage, veggies and broth). Make sure you have a good distribution of it all in the blender or food processor.

  • MereUbu Posted: 10/06/11
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    I've been cooking out of Cooking Light for over a decade, and this is the only recipe I've ever X'd out in my cookbook so that I don't mess up and make it again. (I've actually added the annotation "Yuck-o!" out to the side.) Just terribly bland, and it never seemed to transcend its individual ingredients to become something more than the sum of its parts.

  • MrsSWO Posted: 10/03/11
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    Making this recipe again for dinner tonight. We are a soup family and this is one my 14 year old loves. I usually add an extra can of beans and substitute the turkey kielbasa (don't like turkey sausages of any kind) for andouille sausage which gives it a good kick. And I don't puree. We like it chunky. Great for a chilly fall night with lots of crusty bread!

  • DivaliciousB Posted: 10/14/11
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    I followed the outline of the recipe but added cremini mushrooms, shallots, Orzo pasta, and another 2 cups of broth(the Orzo soaks up the liquid). I also added cayenne pepper to the broth and used hot Italian chicken sausage instead of kielbasa in order to create a spicier flavor profile. The broth is kind of bland so I added salt, garlic powder, and onion powder to taste. I did NOT puree this soup, I like chunky soups and love the hearty winter soups. I did without the spinach but topped it instead with some asiago cheese which brought out the flavors in the sausage and the Italian herbs.The man loved it so much he went back for seconds and it was amazing as left overs! Will make this again :)

  • alicefromga Posted: 12/29/11
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    Really tasty! The only problem I ran into was I used my immersion blender and pureed ALL of the beans. Maybe next time I will add a little less broth and maybe add some tomatoes. Served with jalapeno cheese corn muffins.

  • MichaelSchilke Posted: 12/17/11
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    Well, just finished a huge bowl of this and have to say it is as good as it sounded. It's like something you would be served in a Tuscan farmhouse. This is a keeper. A very hearty winter soup that is perfect for a cold night-- a whole meal in one pot!!

  • KernColeman Posted: 12/16/11
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    We loved this soup! I was out of Italian seasoning, and used a packet of Zesty Italian dressing mix, and it was great.

  • Trishia64 Posted: 11/06/11
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    Quick. Simple. Delicious. What more could you ask for? The only change I made was to use my immersion blender instead of a regular blender - because it's easier. I love that this soup uses pantry and refrigerator staples - no special ingredients to buy.

  • Alisa7 Posted: 01/10/12
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    My family loves soup - anytime of year. We're very critical of soup recipes! This is our new favorite. My husband and I are in the first phase of a strict diet that doesn't allow carrots the first weeks, so I omitted them. I used smoked turkey sausage (couldn't find the turkey kielbasa at my store). We just had it a week ago. I'm making it again tonight - a double batch! My husband brags to everyone about this soup.

  • Susie1 Posted: 12/28/11
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    I didn't have enough sausage so I added some smoked ham to equal 7 oz's. Was very hearty and tasty. Would be good also with a smoked turkey leg. Will make it again.

  • tdmcm1963 Posted: 12/16/11
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    I made this for dinner last night. My husband & I really liked the flavor. It was so delicious that I had some for lunch today. My kids wouldn't try it though. (Oh well. Their loss) This soup doesn't look as good as it tastes. Maybe that's why my kids wouldn't try it. I wouldn't serve this on a special occasion. But it is great on a cold December night, served with cornbread. I also made fried potatoes for my husband. I made one substitution. I used regular Polska Kielbasa instead of turkey kielbasa. Of course I'm sure that made the calorie count higher. Overall I thought this was a great recipe that I plan on making again.

  • mtutt1970 Posted: 12/21/11
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    Delicious & very easy. I used Casual Gourmet roasted red pepper & spinach chicken sausage (because I had it in the freezer) & navy beans. Followed the recipe but used immersion blender in the pot as recommended by a friend. Turned out great. Topped off with a few dashes of LA Hot Sauce & cornbread. Very good!

  • julisanderson Posted: 12/30/11
    Worthy of a Special Occasion
    Spokane, WA

    Couldn't find Great Northern Beans, so I used White kidney beans - so easy and so good!

  • VickiJames Posted: 01/12/12
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    I made this last night and thought it was pleasant, but not as outstanding as other readers have found it to be. I followed the recipe exactly, except I did use up my whole package of turkey sausage. Turkey keilbasa was not available at my grocery store. I'll be interested to see how the leftovers taste.......

  • COLORADOcookin Posted: 11/08/11
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    This is such a good soup! I didn't have dried Italian seasoning so I substituted some 1/2 tsp. oregano, 1/2 tsp basil, pinch tsp. sage, pinch crushed red pepper. This soup has a beautiful texture and taste.

  • marynmartin Posted: 12/15/11
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    Just made this soup. Got the recipe from a friend. It is delicious and the nutrition facts are great. Easy to make, tastes great, healthy. all positives for this soup.

  • judykoning Posted: 12/15/11
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    We love this soup. Very easy and flavorful.

  • yellowduck79 Posted: 12/16/11
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    I thought this was pretty good. I used kale instead of spinach and I added it during the "bring to a boil and simmer" part (after adding the broth, beans, etc.), so it had time to soften up a bit. Another change I made was that I only blended one of the cans of beans (just stuck my immersion blender right in the can), as opposed to blending 2 c. of entire soup. For some reason, I didn't want to blend the kielbasa...but I think it had a similar consistency to original recipe. I'm sure I used more garlic than called for, I usually do. And I also added an 1/8 t. (or less) red pepper flakes, but I'll add more next time. I think I'll add some tomatoes next time, too. I meant to this time, after reading a review, but forgot. Overall, it was quite tasty!

  • TinyGMa Posted: 02/04/12
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    I always follow a new recipe as closely as possible the first time, and both my husband and I liked the flavors and textures very much, especially considering the quick preparation time. Next time, I'll probably add some red pepper flakes and experiment with other greens and maybe even add potatoes. I think this is an easy and delicious basic soup that can be varied endlessly.

  • nataliestill Posted: 12/30/11
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    Loved it! Pureed a bit and gave to my 8 month old niece as babyfood and she loved it too! Great with garlic ciabatta bread....

  • MeeshMech79 Posted: 01/22/12
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    I made this as directed but added just a dash of crushed red pepper & used the entire package of kielbasa. It was great- nice thick, warm flavor.

  • rdaskalos78 Posted: 02/01/12
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    This was a very hearty and satisfying soup. I did make a few changes to suit my tastes better. I julienned the carrots instead of using halved baby carrots. I figured they wouldn't cook all the way through with the allotted time. I also used kale in place of the baby spinach because I wanted something just a bit more substantial, which I added just after adding the puree back to the pot. I added 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper to add a bit of a kick and 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar to my bowl just before serving to add a little acidic bite, which turned out terrific! I think it could have used a little salt, but I am trying to eat better, so I left it as is. I will definitely make this again.

  • Lalalee Posted: 01/17/12
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    thought it had great flavor- particularly considering how fast it cooks. I would probably double the recipe next time for more leftovers!

  • laegnome Posted: 01/31/12
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    Good, fast soup recipe.

  • PeteSoup Posted: 04/11/13
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    I enjoyed this soup a fair amount. It was quick and filling. I will certainly make it again with a few adjustments. The changes I made this time were to double the kielbasa, use oregano instead of Italian seasoning, and use cannellini beans instead of Great Northern because it was the closest thing I could find at the store. I also skipped the blending section of the instructions. As usual, I added grated cheddar and a few croutons which really made the soup fill out for me. I like the other reviewers' suggestion of adding red pepper flakes; I will try that next time.

  • Kalehue Posted: 09/16/12
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    I'm amazed that there is anyone who would not love this recipe. It was so easy and so delicious! I took suggestions from other previous reviewers and compiled them to make the changes I made -- specifically, I diced the carrots and onions and added two ribs of diced celery. I sauteed the vegetables in a little olive oil (rather than using cooking spray). I used three cans of beans (instead of two) and pureed one before adding it the mixture -- and I used 8 cups of broth (because we like broth) -- plus, I used the entire package of turkey kielbasa. It was a hit with the entire family and I can't wait to make it again. Very delicious and satisfying.

  • letseatwell Posted: 12/23/12
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Really enjoyed. Would definitely make again. Only change made included addition of crushed red pepper flakes per another reviewer's suggestion

  • erinslog Posted: 01/30/13
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    I love this soup! I just made a couple of small changes as per recommendations and my own preferences. I diced carrots and added diced celery. I sautéed the garlic, onion and celery with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of red chili flakes. I diced up 2 bison smokies and some leftover ham and added them to cook with the aromatics. Then I added the carrots and 6 cups broth and 2 cups water plus the seasonings plus 3 bay leaves and the beans (I used navy/white beans). I let it slowly boil over about an hour till the carrots were done and the flavors mingled. With the spinach addition at the end I added a pinch of nutmeg (brings out the flavor in spinach). I served with homemade drop biscuits. Yum!

  • BetteBarnett Posted: 03/08/13
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Delicious Soup....particularly for a chilly day. I used fresh kale instead of spinach. It was really good, but the spinach would be a bit more tender. I loved this recipe, and as an added bonus, it's chock full of nutrients with almost no fat. A keeper.

  • DRLAURAS Posted: 02/06/13
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Loved this soup, as did my family. Will try adding steamed cabbage and using vegetarian Italian sausage next time, but it is quite tasty in its original form. Double the recipe!

  • JanisLaVelle Posted: 09/17/12
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Very good and easy to make. Will make several times. One of the families favorites...

  • TanyaEll Posted: 05/22/13
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Husband and son loved this recipe. I doubled the Italian spices and the kielbasa. I also added an extra can of beans after adding the pureed mixture back. Will definitely make again!

  • bedin003 Posted: 09/08/12
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Super easy to make and absolutely delicious. Will definitely make again.

  • lynnejones Posted: 01/24/13
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    Simple, delicious, and all gone!

  • SweetTeainTN Posted: 11/17/13
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Great flavor. I did double the Italian seasoning and added extra turkey. Next time I plan on using three cans of beans. My husband loved this soup and we will definitely be making it again.

  • EllenFL Posted: 01/16/14
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Very good, puree more than the two cups tho.

  • brighteyes8 Posted: 11/22/13
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    Four stars for flavor, extra fifth star for the amount of deliciousness you get from such an easy and quick recipe. The Italian seasoning is wonderful here; totally agree it needs to be doubled to 1 t. The meat does not need to be doubled unless you are a meat-a-holic. It needs a little more salt, too, as usual with CL recipes, but taste before you decide.

  • KDiDo00 Posted: 04/14/14
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    I really loved this soup. It was better the 2nd day. I put shaved parmesan on it. YUM!

  • bureaugirl Posted: 06/30/13
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    Unbelievable flavor from canned beans. So creamy, tasty and easy. I love, love this recipe!

  • Mikaleena Posted: 10/16/13
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    Absolutely fantastic! I forgot to purée 2 cups so I just mashed some beans in the pot and it was just delicious and creamy!

  • JerriOO Posted: 02/07/14
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    I added extra kielbasa only. Love this recipe. I froze several containers for taking for lunch. I am enjoying it re-heated even more!

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