15 Minute Kielbasa Bean Soup

This Kielbasa Bean Soup started out as a long cook recipe using dry beans in the Crock Pot, but  many years ago I changed it and  turned it into my "15 minutes until dinner" soup and cook it on the stove top.  In the time it takes to bake some  Easy Parmesan Biscuits you can have the soup ready to serve too!

As I write this  I have a thunderstorm outside my window,  which always makes me want a bowl of soup for some reason!  I love this as a last minute soup because 1) I always seem to have the main ingredients handy and 2)  It's easy to clean out the fridge and throw leftover salsa or veggies in it and 3) it ALWAYS tastes slow cooked even if you threw it together!

Please feel free to consider this a base recipe and play around with it!  I have found that the ingredients that must be there for it to have it's rich layer of flavors (that give it a slow cooked taste!)  are the Beef (or chicken) broth, Beef Gravy, Spicy Beans, and either regular or spicy tomatoes,  the rest I just sort of use what I have on hand.

 (In fact in today's picture I added two items in my fridge that needed to get used up asap:  1) a  half cup of left over Avocado-Corn Salsa  and 1/2 cup of soy sausage crumbles. )

Jan's tip: Why not double it and make half as a freezer meal for later? It'll cook just as quick and you'll get two meals out of one 15 minute cooking session?

Kielbasa Bean Soup

3 (15 oz.) cans of  Beef or Chicken Broth (or make your own!)
1 (15 oz.) can Beef Gravy  (I tossed in left over gravy I stored in the freezer  using Ice Cube Trays)
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans drained and rinsed
1 ( 15 oz.) can either Beans in Chili Sauce or Ranch style beans
1  (15 oz ) can each (drained) corn and sliced carrots
1 small can of  diced tomatoes (for mild) or  Rotel Tomatoes with chiles (for spicy)
1 lb. kielbasa cut in half lengthwise and then sliced into bite sized pieces

Optional: 1 lb ground sausage, onions, green peppers, or any vegetable you have on hand. If you decide to throw in rice or lentils or split peas you may need to increase your broth or add water and cook just a bit longer! (although leftover rice from a previous nights meal would be a super fast addition!)

Throw all the ingredients together in a large sauce pan and heat on medium till bubbly and heated through. Ready to serve.

Jan's Tip:  If you decide to use your slow cooker and you decide to substitute dry beans to simmer all day (say about 12 oz.) , don't add in the tomato ingredients till 15 minutes before serving, as the acid in the tomatoes prevent the beans from softening. Another great addition would be dried spit peas or lentils.
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