I found this in the Food section of the paper a week or two ago and it was a big hit here. It sounded really good and not quite as spicy as red beans and rice. It's actually very mild, described as "kid-friendly" which means that it's husband friendly in our house. For those that like it a bit more heat, just add some hot sauce to your dish.
Red Beans and Rice Soup
1 pound dried red beans, picked over, then soaked for at least 8 hours or overnight, rinsed
1 Tbsp olive oil
6-8 oz smoked turkey kielbasa, diced
1 onion, chopped
3/4 c diced celery (from 2-3 ribs)
1/2 c diced red bell pepper (from 1 small pepper)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
7 c homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth, more as needed
2/3 c raw basmati or jasmine rice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
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. 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, garlic, 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.
The soup can be frozen up to 3 months.
from The Washington Post