Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Crockpot Tuscan Sausage and Bean Soup

Tis the season for crockpot meals! :) This soup is easy and really, really tasty.  It originally comes from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook.  It's written to be cooked in a crockpot, but there is no reason you couldn't make it stovetop.  This is my first time cooking with kale...I thought about subbing the kale for spinach ( which would be a fine substitute) but then decided to broaden my horizons and just pick up a bunch of kale and give it a try.  Besides, kale is one of those winter vegetables that is in season and very reasonably priced right now.  I LOVED it with the kale.  Kale is considered to be a highly nutritious vegetable with powerful antioxidant properties and is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium.  Since kale is a member of the cabbage family and has a thick stem,  you will need cut it out before chopping it to add to the soup.

This soup calls for 1/2 cup of dry red wine, which I highly encourage you to use, as it imparts the most excellent flavor to the broth.  This recipe also uses canned beans...notorious for being high in sodium.  To reduce the amount of sodium in them, be sure to rinse and drain them before adding to the soup.   Next time, I will be making this soup on the stove, so I can double the recipe and have plenty of leftover for lunches during the week...but made in the crockpot it yields six generous ( 1 1/2 cup) servings at 6 points+ each.  My entire family loved this soup and so will you!

Crockpot Tuscan Sausage and Bean Soup adapted from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook

Servings - 6   Servings size - approx. 1 1/2 cups or 1/6th of recipe  Points plus per servings - 6 points+
Calories - 241,   Total Fat - 5g,   Carb., - 31g,  Protein - 19g  Fiber - 8g

12 oz. turkey smoked sausage ( such as Hillshire Farms brand), sliced 
2 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 large celery stalks, diced
1/2 cup cauliflower florets, chopped ( optional, I added because I wanted to use them up)
1/2 medium bunch kale, stems removed, and leaves chopped ( about 4 cups)
3 cups fat free, low sodium chicken broth
2 cans ( 15.5 oz each) of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
One (14.5 oz.) can of diced tomatoes, with Italian seasonings
1/2 cup dry red wine ( or water)
1 tsp. dried basil
salt and pepper, to taste*
juice of half a lemon

1.  In a slow cooker, combine all of the ingredients.  Stir to combine.  Cover and cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high, until the vegetables are tender.  ( If you choose to cook on stove top, saute the carrots, onion, garlic, celery and cauliflower ( if using) in a little cooking spray in dutch oven or large stock pot for about 5 min.  Add the basil and cook for another minute or so.  Then add the rest of the ingredients, bring to boil, and allow to simmer, slightly covered, until vegetables are tender...about an hour or so)

2. Squeeze juice of half a lemon into the soup and stir.  Enjoy. 

*this recipe does not require much salt, if any...the sausage, the beans and the canned tomatoes add quite a bit of salt to the recipe on their own.  I would advise you to taste before you salt. 

so easy....just dump into crockpot and turn on!!


  1. That looks absolutely delicious. Time to break out the crock pot!!! Have a good day.

  2. It's so cold here I have been looking for a new soup to try. Looks like i just found one!



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