Kielbasa-Bean Slow Cooker Soup & Spicy Black Bean Soup

The weather in the Yukon has been hot, hot, hot! This week has been in the 30’s every day (celcius). We’ve been grilling a lot of our dinners - grilled corn on the cob, eggplant, zuchinni, mushrooms, peppers, asparagus, and pretty much any other veggie that finds its way into the crisper. We have them with grilled lean pork loin or chicken breast most of the time.

I still find ways to use my favorite kitchen appliance throughout the summer, though. When we give the grill a break, I plug in one of my slow cookers. It’s so nice to put something together in the cool, early morning, and forget about it until it’s time for dinner. We have them with a salad and a crusty roll. Here are two easy recipes I’ve been using from the Weight Watchers Canada site - both slightly modified:

Kielbasa-Bean Slow Cooker Soup

  • 50 oz fat-free chicken broth
  • 16 oz low-fat sausage, cut in half lengthwise then sliced. I use (5) M&M Lean Turkey Sausages. The WW recipe suggests low-fat smoked sausage or reduced fat keilbasa.
  • 15 oz canned black beans, rinced and drained
  • 15 oz canned pinto beans, rinced and drained
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained

Mix all ingredients, except tomatoes, in a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 6 hours or until beans are tender. Stir in tomatoes; cover and cook on high heat setting until heated through, about 14 minutes. Yields 1 heaping cup per serving.

Points value: 3

Spicy Black Bean Soup

  • 1 meduim onion, finely chopped
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 45 oz canned black beans, undrained
  • 14.5 oz fat-free chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 10 oz canned tomatoes with green chilis
  • 11 oz canned yellow corn, drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

Use a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Add to it one can undrained black beans, the canned tomatoes, the drained canned corn, red bell pepper, garlic, and spices.

Using a blender, blend the remaining ingredients in batches (two cans undrained black beans, onions, and broth). Add to the slow cooker. Slow cook on low heat setting for 6 hours. Serve with a dollop of fat-free sour cream.

Yield: About 1.5 cups per serving.

Points value: 3