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)
Mixed Dried Beans, Onion, Celery, Carrots, Meaty Ham Bone, Pepper, and Bayleaf (not pictured).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I took an extra whole 2 minutes and made a salad.
Dinner is served!
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:
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???