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Every Bean Crockpot Soup

We’ve reached that critical time of the year….Crazed Schedule Season!

Yes, you might call it fall or autumn where you live but since it’s still quite warm here, we’re going with CSS – Crazed Schedule Season.

Everyone I know is insanely busy. That goes double for my friends who have kids. Some of us (especially musicians) are practically living out of our cars as we drive to and fro.

Well friends, when things get this busy, it’s time to get your kitchen working FOR you!

And this is the perfect recipe to do it – Every Bean Crockpot Soup to the rescue!

Here’s what you need:  (obviously a crockpot or other slow cooker)

Every Bean Crockpot Soup Ingredients

Mixed Dried Beans, Onion, Celery, Carrots, Meaty Ham Bone, Pepper, and Bayleaf (not pictured).

Click here for an Every Bean Crockpot Soup Shopping List

When I said EVERY bean, I meant it. Look at these beauties!

These were hiding in my grocery store with the regular old dried beans and I never gave them much thought until someone gave some to me sort of as a gag gift – one of those things where you try to disguise the gift card by wrapping it up with a  bag of beans. Well, you can guess that I was equally excited about the beans because I’m weird that way.

Anyway, the glory of the mixed beans is that the little beans pretty much cook into the broth of the soup acting as a thickener while the bigger beans stay whole and tender.

Every Bean Imaginable!

Always rinse your dried beans to remove any dust and debris and give them a good once over to be sure there are no non-bean things in there.

I didn’t even bother to pre-soak these beans. Just dump them in as is.

Since I knew I was going to be running very short on time, I prepped all my vegetables the night before.

I have 1 large onion, 2 ribs of celery, and about 3-4 carrots all cut up in this bowl.

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The key to good soup is a delicious meaty ham bone. 

See that little ham flavored packet in with your beans? Take it out, shake your head in wonder at why anyone would think they could put the flavor of an entire ham into a small bag of powder and chemicals, and THROW IT AWAY.

I buy gorgeous meaty ham bones at my local Honey Baked Ham store. They usually have enough ham left on them for at least 2 sandwiches in addition to your soup so you might want to do a little trimming before you use the bone for the soup.

No. Just, no.

Once you have these basic ingredients, you can put the soup together in only a few minutes!

I have a 6 quart crock pot that will easily accommodate my giant ham bone or even a whole chicken. If you’re shopping for a crockpot, I think the things to look for are 3 automatic or programmable settings:  low, high, and warm as it’s nice to be able to have the crockpot hold your food after it has finished cooking. You can usually find them for well under $40. Cheaper if you look at garage sales and thrift shops.

Put your rinsed beans and chopped veggies and big old ham bone in the pot.

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You can obviously make this just like regular bean soup on the stove, but since I’m going to be gone all day, I want that crock pot safely doing the cooking for me.

Add 8 cups of water, some freshly cracked black pepper, and a bay leaf or two.

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Put the lid on and set to LOW for 8-10 hours. Go about your day and try to have a good one…

because when you come home…

LOOK what your crockpot made for you! And your house smells just like someone has been slaving away all day.

The only thing you have to do is take the ham bones out and remove and shred the meat from the bones. Put the meat back in the soup and toss the bones in the trash.

Every Bean Crockpot Soup

I took an extra whole 2 minutes and made a salad.

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Dinner is served! 

Every Bean Crockpot Soup

And don’t let your other appliances be slackers. You have TONS of bean soup now.

Depending on how many folks you are feeding, you can probably put half of it in a container in the freezer and you have bean soup all ready to go for another crazy day. 

You work hard. You deserve a good meal at the end of the day.

I know I always feel better when I eat real, good food.

Here’s the recipe:

Every Bean Crockpot Soup

And since I’m not the only crazed person I know out there, if you have favorite easy recipes (especially for the crockpot) that you’d like to share, let me know.

What do you cook/eat when you’re deep into Crazy Schedule Season???

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12 Responses to “Every Bean Crockpot Soup”

  1. Nom nom nom. I’m eating so much better since I started following your blog. 🙂

  2. Liz Giglio says:

    Your Soup is my kind of soup. You cook good. You ask what people with crazy schedules cook? We do not have any schedules, we are retired. But many days I cook 3 meals in one evening, such as a pot of Chili, a pot of Bacon/Green Beans/Potatos and maybe a pot of Spaghetti Sauce. Our stoves have 4 burners. You can utilize all 4 of them and cook 3-4 meals at a time. In one to two hours. They will keep a few days in the Fridge or you can freeze them. At the same time I might throw the current nights dinner on the grill! I also keep on hand frozen pizzas (you have to find the brand you like), I personally prefer pepperoni and doctor them up with anchovies, scallions, onions, pepper flakes and extra cheese. Then there are many other options.
    We do not really like Restaurants……………… Garbage high sodium overprized Food!
    And then there is always Costco for the Rotisserie Chicken or Publix for the Deli Italian Sandwich! Bueno Appetito.

  3. gary rith says:

    OH YES, slow cooker bean soup season here INDEED! Fact: simmer old shoes all day with the right seasonings and it will be awesome 🙂

  4. knittergran says:

    Hi-Just saw your comment at derwadmanor. I have had plantar fasciitis bad enough that I ended up having surgery—but here are things that can help. Sleep in some sort of brace that keeps your foot at a 90 deg. angle to your leg; roll the sole of your foot around on a tennis ball before you get out of bed, ice rubs (put water in a paper cup, freeze, then rub it on the bottom of your foot, peeling the paper as you go…might hurt like hell but it helps with swelling you can’t see), stretches, don’t go barefooted, and Birkenstocks and Chaco flip flops saved me when I had the same problem starting with the other foot. Not stylish, I know, but it helps. Good luck, and now I’m going to read your recipes!

    • Thanks for the advice! It has certainly been a long road. I had PF in my other foot before and tried all the recommendations this time but so far nothing is really helping. I’m seeing a great sports medicine doctor so there is hope now….I hope. 🙂

  5. Busy Bee Suz says:

    Anything in the crockpot is a gift at the end of the day. I’ve never thought to purchase a ham bone….luckily we have a honey baked ham store in town!!! I’m keeping this on my list of ‘to make’!
    I hope you survive CSS!!

    • Buying ham bones at Honeybaked Ham is one of my great finds since moving here. I buy at least 2 at a time and put one in the freezer. Sometimes around big ham friendly holidays like Easter, they have them buy one get one free! Nothing better than free ham!

  6. Roz says:

    Hey Claudia, I found the instructions below on the Web. Passing this info along since I was not previously familiar with cooking beans in the oven (aside from baking beans Boston-style) and thought perhaps you might not be aware of this method either. I did presoak the beans. I used dried cranberry beans (borlotti) that I found at a local Hispanic produce market. This way of cooking them worked very well and is extremely simple to do. Quick summary: soak or not, bring to a boil in a Dutch oven, cover and put into a 325-degree oven for 75 minutes if soaked; 3 hours if not.
    ================================================
    Cooking Beans in the Oven (also known as the Parsons method)
    1 pound dried beans
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Garlic cloves, optional
    Bay leaf, optional
    Other herbs, dried or fresh, optional
    Equipment
    3-quart or larger oven-safe pot with a lid, such as a Dutch oven
    Instructions
    1. Soak the beans: Eight hours or the night before you want to cook the beans, pour them into a bowl and cover them with an ample quantity of water. Stir in 1 heaping tablespoon salt. Let the beans sit all night at room temperature, then pour off the water in the morning and proceed to cooking. Note on soaking: As I discuss above, this method still works really well even if you don’t soak your beans. I do try to remember to soak as I find they cook faster and more evenly — especially when dealing with enormous beans like these Chestnut beauties. But you can also skip soaking, or do a fast soak as detailed in the Recipe Notes.
    2. Heat the oven to 325°F and put beans in an oven-safe pot: Heat the oven to 325°F. Drain the beans and put them in an oven-safe pot that holds at least 3 quarts. I like using this Dutch oven, but a clay pot is also very good.
    3. Stir in salt and pepper: Add 1 teaspoon salt and a generous quantity of black pepper to the beans.
    4. Add smashed garlic cloves, a bay leaf, and other herbs, if desired: These aromatics are optional; good beans have plenty of flavor on their own! But I often like to add a few smashed cloves of garlic and some red pepper flakes, or a sprig of rosemary.
    5. Cover with water: Cover the beans with water. There should be at least 1 inch of water above the beans. Bring the pot to a boil on the stove. (Note: If cooking red kidney beans or white cannellini beans, boil for a full 15 minutes. Both contain levels of a toxin present when eaten raw or undercooked, and if you want to be on the safe side, boil them before putting them in the oven to ensure this is completely gone.)
    6. Bake for 75 minutes, then check: Cover the beans. Put in the oven and cook for 75 minutes. Taste the beans to see if they are soft and cooked through. Small beans, such as little pintos, will often be done at this point, especially if they soaked all night. If they are still mealy or crunchy inside, put them back in the oven and continue checking in 15 to 20 minute intervals until done. This will usually take no more than 90 minutes, but allow more time if your beans are large, or if they weren’t soaked. Taste and season with additional salt if desired.
    Note: Smaller beans will cook faster. Very large beans, like the ones I show here, can take significantly longer. These were not soaked, and took about 3 hours to cook completely. Beans often also soften more in the refrigerator overnight.
    On Soaking, Salting & Digestion
    •Fast-Soaking Beans: If you don’t soak overnight, you can do a quick-soak by bringing the beans to a boil, covered with water, then taking them off the heat. Let soak for 1 hour, then pour off the water. Proceed as directed above. Read more on this method: How To Quick-Soak Dried Beans in Just One Hour
    •Salting Beans: Many cooks believe that salting beans at the beginning of cooking makes them tough. We’ve seen through some good work by Cook’s Illustrated that this isn’t the case, and actually, it’s beneficial to soak your beans in briny salted water, which helps season the beans and also starts the process of softening them. We usually soak in salted water overnight, then add a little more salt while cooking the beans. Read more about this: Think Salt is the Enemy of Perfect Beans? Think Again.
    •Digestion: Most people have a little, well, digestive trouble after eating beans. We’ve tried a lot of different ways to minimize this (soaking, no soaking, salt, herbs) and results really vary amongst cooks and eaters. Check out the comments below for some great suggestions for minimizing gassiness, including kombu (dried seaweed), dried epazote (an herb), and meat tenderizer.
    Storing & Sourcing Beans
    •Storing Cooked Beans: Cooked beans can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 days. You can also freeze them in tightly sealed containers or bags for several months.
    •Buy Great Beans! Once you get into cooking good beans, you’ll never look back. The beans I cooked here are Chestnut Limas from Community Grains. My favorite place to shop for heirloom beans with a lot of flavor is Rancho Gordo.

  7. Karen says:

    Just cooked this for Sunday dinner today. Everyone loved it. I went ahead and put in 1/2 cup of sour cream at the end and it was delicious.

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