This past year from my CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) I got a lot of dried, local, organic beans towards the end of the year. In theory, dried beans are great but only if you take the time to cook them. Cooking beans on the stove just takes so long especially when you take into account the overnight soak ahead of time. I knew there had to be an easier way which is why I was pumped to see a crockpot soup recipe that actually starts with dried beans.
This soup was great. The beans were cooked perfectly and the broth had a really nice thickness to it. Plus, it made the house smell amazing. Even though the weather is starting to warm up I think this soup will still have a place in our meal planning rotation
Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean Soup, slightly adapted from Cooking Light, March 2015
6 cups unsalted/low sodium chicken stock (I used homemade)
1 large chopped onion
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
2 minced cloves of garlic
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf (I left this out when we made it the first time and the soup was still yummy)
12 ounces dried white beans (any bean would be great in this soup BUT kidney beans need to be boiled for 10 minutes before being used in a crockpot due to toxins)
3 cups greens (I used baby spinach but chopped kale or swiss chard would be great too)
2 T tomato paste
1lb Italian sausage (I used sweet but any variety would be great)
2 T fresh lemon juice (I totally forgot to add this at the end)
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese to serve
|I swear it's tastier than this picture makes it seem!|
1.) Add the chicken stock through beans to the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours. Throw out thyme stems and bay leaf.
2.) Stir in greens, tomato paste, salt and pepper into soup.
3.) Remove sausage from the casing and form into little meatballs (I made about 30). Add to the soup, cover and cook on high for 30 minutes until meat is cooked)
4.) Stir in juice (if you don't forget) and serve with cheese on top.
Do you use dried beans?