It was cold and rainy one day last week; this is the definition of soup weather for me. As I contemplated what soup I might like, I thought, “I want them all!” I love soup, you know? So, I decided to combine bean soup and vegetable soup in one. This is it. Hearty, filling, slow cooked all day, it is just fantastic! Since it’s made in a slow cooker, you just toss everything in and leave it (except for a couple of last-minute additions). This is the perfect meatless meal…with so much stuff in there? Who could possibly miss the meat?
I started with a bag of Hurst’s 15 Bean Soup. Fifteen beans! In the bag are Northern, Pinto, Large Lima, Yelloweye, Garbanzo, Baby Lima, Green Split Pea, Kidney, Cranberry, Small White, Pink, Small Red, Yellow Split Pea, Lentil, Navy, White Kidney and Black Beans. Hey, wait! That’s seventeen! Well, the bag says it contains 15 of those varieties. There is also a seasoning packet. I throw that away.
Although a lot of crock pot bean soups say that it isn’t necessary to pre-soak the beans, I think it’s better if you do. You can soak the beans in a pan or bowl of water overnight, or as I did, use the quick-soak method. That is this:
- Wash the beans well.
- Place the beans in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Continue adding water until there is at least 4 inches of water above the level of the beans.
- Place the stockpot on the stove and bring to a full, rolling boil.
- Cover the pan, turn off the heat, allow to sit for one hour.
- Drain the beans in a colander and set aside to add to the soup or stew.
Then it’s time to start loading the crock pot. My crock pot is a 6 quart, so if yours is smaller, you will need to adjust the ingredients to fit your pot. As I have said before, tomatoes and salt can keep beans from getting tender, so they need to be added after the beans cook. Also, there were a couple of vegetables that I added at the same time as the tomatoes. I’ll list those separately for you.
The vegetables I used were onion, celery, carrot, parsnips, turnips, cabbage, yellow and zucchini squash, diced tomato, green beans, okra and corn. There is also a blend of herbs, a bit of garlic and some Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Everything but the kitchen sink! *wink*
The wonderful thing about this soup is, you can use whatever vegetables you like and omit any you don’t. There are no rules.
Also, I used water as the base for the soup; there were so many vegetables that would be slow simmering it really doesn’t need stock, since it creates its own as it simmers.
This fifteen bean and vegetable soup is ready in 4 hours, if cooked on high; it is ready in 8 hours, if cooked on low. It’s absolutely delicious! It freezes really well, too! When I make soups I generally make enough to freeze. That way, I have containers of prepared soups I can take out of the freezer on a busy night and have supper on the table in a jiffy!
I served our soup with crusty ciabatta bread sticks and butter; it was the perfect meal on a cold, rainy, dreary night! I hope you’ll try it!
- 1 pound beans, rinsed, sorted and drained, then pre-soaked.
- 8-10 cups water
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup sliced carrot
- 1 cup sliced parsnips
- 1 cup diced turnips
- 3 cups diced cabbage
- 1 cup sliced yellow squash
- 1 cup sliced zucchini
- 1½ tablespoons Italian herb blend
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder (NOT garlic salt)
- ADDED AFTER THE BEANS ARE SOFT:
- 1 - 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- ½ - 1 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning Blend (depending on the heat you want)
- 1 cup cut green beans
- 1 cup sliced okra
- 1 cup kernel corn
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- Place the pre-soaked and drained beans into the slow cooker.
- Add 8 cups of water, onion, celery, carrot, parsnips, turnips, cabbage, yellow squash and zucchini, Italian herb blend and garlic powder (NOT garlic salt).
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours.
- At this point, add the diced tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, green beans, okra, corn and salt and ground black pepper, to taste.
- Reduce to warm and simmer for about 20 minutes more.
- Serve hot in bowls.