Have I told you how wonderful the crock pot is for cooking dried beans? It’s great for resurrecting those wonderful legumes into a perfectly textured protein for a hearty vegetable soup. So easy, no presoaking, no simmering … just toss those dried beans into the slow cooker in the morning, add water, a bay leaf or two, a ham bone if you’d like, and by mid-afternoon and you’re ready to make soup for your evening meal. Voila.
By the way, is your family soup nuts like us? follow my Soups, Stews and Chili board on Pinterest. A great resource for all things soup.
To make this soup, you need to first have a little fun. Take a trip to your favorite supermarket that has a generous bulk selection. Stroll the dried beans. Buy equal quantities of each and every dried bean you see. Don’t forget lentils and split peas. A good store will have some lovely calico beans, tiny red aduki, and reddish-orange lentils. Just grab everything you see.
When you get home mix all the beans together fearlessly. Hopefully you’ve got at least ten varieties, sixteen or twenty even better. Make sure you have a large container with a tight-fitting lid that will hold the loot, preferably clear, so that you can admire the beans colors and shapes. This stash will last you all season … and beyond.
So now that you have your supply of wonderful beans, let’s make that soup. Place two cups of the bean mix into the crockpot and cover with four cups liquid. Water or stock. Add two bay leaves and and ham hocks or ham bones if you wish. Cook on low for 7 – 8 hours. Or until the beans are tender. Fresher harvested beans will cook quicker. DO-NOT add salt or tomatoes at this time. The beans may never-ever become tender.
When the beans are done, transfer to a large soup kettle to finish on the stove top. Recipe below.
The secret weapon to the intense flavor of this soup is the unique mix of herbs and spices. Again, mix this up and keep in a container in the pantry. It’s a perfect companion for your dried bean mix and your soup life will be elevated to a heavenly level.
Enjoy this healthy and full of flavor bean and vegetable soup.
- 2 C . dried beans preferably a mix
- 4 cups water
- Soup bone either from a ham, or I usually buy smoked ham hocks and use 2 - 3 depending on size
- 2 leaves bay
- 1 fresh Anaheim chile thinly sliced
- 2 T . herb mix recipe here
- 1 large onion coarse chopped
- 1 - 3 cloves garlic diced
- 28 ounce can of chopped tomatoes undrained
- Vegetables of choice:
- 2 medium carrots scrubbed and thick sliced
- 3 leaves rib celery with sliced
- 2 med potatoes scrubbed and cubed
- 1 sweet potato peeled and cubed
- 4 ounces fresh green beans sliced
- 2 heads broccoli stems chopped and heads divided
- 1 turnip peeled and cubed
- 3 T . Pickapeppa sauce or Worcestershire
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ cup dried vegetable mix optional
- Salt and plenty of ground pepper
Toss beans in a crock pot and add liquid 4 cups liquid, bay leaves and chile. Cook on low 8 hours. Or until beans are tender. Fresher beans take less time to become tender. Add soup bone if using.
When beans are tender, transfer them to a soup pot to finish the soup on the stove. Add your vegetables of choice. When using onions, carrots and celery, I usually sautee them to enhance the flavor before throwing then in the pot.
Add the herb mix.
Add three cups more of liquid or stock.
Simmer until vegetables are tender. About 20 - 25 minutes.
Remove soup bone, shred meat off bone and stir back into soup. Remove the bay leaves and take a potato masher and give the soup about 10 good mashes to crush some of the beans and veggies.
Ladle into soup bowls. Serve with a crusty bread and a salad.
It’s soup season, have you ever tried a Ginger Lemon Chicken Soup? It’s a Julia Child Recipe.
Bean and Vegetable Soup … It’s What’s for Dinner.
Product rave: A good soup pot is a kitchen essential I can’t live without. I love my 6-quart Le Creuset and use it several times a week, all season long. Whether for pastas or soups, this pot is a work horse in my kitchen.