So my husband loves soup. He tells me this slow-cooker bean & ham soup turned out delicious. Then he called me awesome. So this one’s a winner. Prep. time: about 20 minutes. Costs less than $10. Feeds 6 – 8.
For slow-cooker bean & ham soup, you’ll need:
- 1 1/2 cups small white beans, soaked overnight in cold water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or olive oil)
- 1/2 pound ham steak, cubed and the skin edge cut off
- 3/4 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, peeled & chopped into cubes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 3 1/4 cups water
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon dried-leaf thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup cooked bacon, crumbled
For slow-cooker bean & ham soup, follow these directions:
- In a large bowl, add beans and enough cold water to cover by at least two inches. Let stand overnight. (And if you forget to do this the night before, you can do the quick method, which is to put the beans in a large pot, cover with hot water by at least two inches, & bring to a rapid boil on the stove. Let it boil for two minutes, then remove from heat, cover & let it sit for an hour).
- Drain beans & rinse with cold water. Pick out any loose skins you see.
- In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat on the stove. Add the ham, onion, celery, & carrots, stirring often until browned, about five minutes or so. Add the garlic & cook for another minute, stirring often.
- Add all the ingredients from step 3 into the slow-cooker, making sure to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet into the slow-cooker.
- Add the chicken broth, water, tomato paste, thyme, salt, pepper, & bacon to the slow-cooker and stir.
- Add the beans to the slow-cooker & stir.
- Cover and cook for 8 hours on LOW or 5 hours on HIGH.
- Using a large spoon, crush some beans against the side of the slow-cooker, enough so that you get the consistency you like, then stir.