Makes 10 to 12 cups (8 servings)
This mild-tasting soup is kid-friendly, and the combination of beans, rice and sausage is a great source of protein. Thick and hearty, it's a meal in a bowl.
Make ahead: The beans need to soak for at least 8 hours, or up to overnight. The soup can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
From Washington cancer nutrition specialist Danielle Cook Navidi.
1 pound dried red beans, picked over, then soaked for at least 8 hours or overnight, rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 to 8 ounces smoked turkey kielbasa, diced
1 cup chopped onion (from 1 medium onion)
3/4 cup diced celery (from 2 to 3 ribs)
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (from 1 small pepper)
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
7 cups homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth, or more as needed
2/3 cup raw basmati or jasmine rice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Chopped scallions, for garnish
Place the beans in a large soup pot and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for about 1 hour, adjusting the heat to keep the liquid barely bubbling, just until the beans are al dente, or firm to the bite.
(Alternatively, cook the beans, covered, at a brisk boil over high heat for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the beans sit in the water for an hour or so.) Drain in a colander, discarding the cooking liquid.
Return the empty pot to the stove over medium heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the kielbasa and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, the garlic to taste, brown sugar, thyme and bay leaves.
Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vinegar and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, then add the broth, beans and rice. Cook uncovered, keeping the liquid barely bubbling, until the rice is cooked, 30 to 45 minutes, adding broth if the soup seems too chunky. Season with the salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaves.
Serve hot, garnished with scallions.
Per serving: 340 calories, 20 g protein, 53 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 35 mg cholesterol, 570 mg sodium, 9 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar