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Chicken Cassoulet Soup

After my sister spent a year in France as an au pair, I created this lighter, easier version of traditional French cassoulet for her. It uses chicken instead of the usual duck.—Bridget M. Klusman, Otsego, Michigan
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Cook: 6 hours
  • Makes
    7 servings (2-3/4 quarts)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound bulk pork sausage
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/2 pound cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth or chicken broth
  • 5 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers, optional
  • 1/2 pound bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • Additional fresh thyme, optional

Directions

  • In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.
  • Transfer to a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker. Add the water, chicken, beans, carrots, onion, vermouth, bouillon, garlic, thyme, fennel and if desired, lavender. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until heated through.
  • Divide among bowls; sprinkle with bacon. If desired, top with additional fresh thyme.
Editor's Note
Look for dried lavender flowers in spice shops. If using lavender from the garden, make sure it hasn't been treated with chemicals.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/2 cups: 494 calories, 23g fat (7g saturated fat), 77mg cholesterol, 1821mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 9g fiber), 34g protein.

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