We went to Olive Garden the other night with family, and one of us (not me) ordered a soup that had (I think) sausage, potatoes and white beans in it. That just sounds like a good combination to me, so even though I didn't actually taste it I wanted to try to recreate it at home. Yes, I know this doesn't exactly make sense. So when Wal-mart had Cream of Mushroom soup (not low sodium or low fat, unfortunately) on sale for 60 cents and I was in the mood for soup, I figured I'd give it a try.
Of course, the obvious choice is the crockpot:
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
2 cans of water
2 1/2 cups of almost fat free lower sodium chicken broth
1 pound sausage, browned
about 5 potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic (I tend to dump a big spoonful in, so really I have no idea how much)
1 can white/Great Northern beans (or frozen precooked in my case)
salt and pepper to taste, heavy on the pepper here
A couple shakes Italian dried herbs mix
Combine and cook until potatoes are done. Mine cooked for about 5 1/2 hours total, with maybe 1 hour of that on high because my beans were still frozen.
Add in the last 20 minutes of cook time:
2 c. frozen peas
Nutrition Data tells me that a 2 1/2 cup serving (that amount includes seconds, really) comes in at 318 calories. Using low sodium and low fat mushroom soup would have been much better, but for a "cream" soup I think that's a pretty good number. It's not as thick as a chowder, but it's still creamy.
Does it taste like Olive Garden's soup? I have no idea, but I am very pleased with how it turned out.