SOY SAUSAGE VEGETABLE BEAN STEW

SOY SAUSAGE VEGETABLE BEAN STEW
A perfectly engineered soup: an outstanding flavor achievement. Must taste to believe!  Will go quickly. An easy sell!

Makes about 14 cups

1/4 c. trans fat-free margarine

1 lg. stalk celery, cut into 3/8 inch cubes

1/2 lg. sweet onion, peeled and cut into 3/8 inch squares

1 green pepper, cored and cut into 3/8 inch squares

1 t. salt

2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 3/8 inch cubes

2 lg. carrots, peeled and cut into 3/8 inch cubes

14 oz. tube soy sausage (Gimme Lean brand)

2, 14-1/2 ounce cans stewed tomatoes

2, 14-1/2 ounce cans vegetable broth

15 oz. can red kidney beans, including liquid

15 oz. can cannellini (white) kidney beans, including liquid

2 T. fresh chopped cilantro

1/4 t. dried thyme, crushed

salt to taste

freshly ground black pepper to taste

In large soup pot, over medium heat, melt margarine. Add celery, onion, green pepper and salt. Sauté till partially wilted.

Add parsnips and carrots, then crumble soy sausage into big crumbles into vegetables. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Be careful not to mush up the soy sausage. You want bite-sized pieces, like stew meat.

Add remaining ingredients. Stir well, partially cover, then cook on low heat, at a slow boil for 30 minutes. If your veggies are cut in the size instructed, they won’t require any longer to become tender.

Notes: If you like meat in your soup, this is the stew for you. This is the first time I’ve used soy meat in a stew and it turned out perfectly. I wasn’t sure that I’d like it, but much to my surprise I loved it.

Due to the high flavor content of all the ingredients, including the soy sausage, it needs very little additional seasoning. The flavor of the parsnip works beautifully to enhance the other flavors of the stew.

Variation: To extend the soup, serve over a little cooked elbow macaroni in the bottom of each soup bowl. Rice might work as nicely.

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