In my ideal world, I’d eat soup every single day. In fact, I have soup pretty often during the week for lunch. Cheryl isn’t a huge soup person, but even she feels satisfied after a bowl of this Slow Cooker Cranberry Bean Soup.
I used veggies I had on hand already: sweet potatoes, celery, onion, and carrots. You can change these with what you have in your fridge and pantry. I was lazy and did not cook the onion first!
You are welcome to saute them first or use some from the freezer that you sauteed earlier. It does make it taste a little richer, but if it’s a choice between no soup or sauteeing, you know what you need to do.
I found some cranberry beans that were still packed from our move years ago. That’s actually what motivated me to make this soup. I soaked the beans to see if they would cook at all, and to my surprise they did great.
Typically, I avoid soaking my beans because I’m lazy and forgetful and in the slow cooker an overnight cook acts as a softener for the beans. If you don’t want to soak yours you can put them in your slow cooker the night before and cover with a few inches of water above the beans. Cook on low overnight. Then you can continue with the recipe as written. You may need to adjust the morning water since you may have extra from cooking the beans overnight.
Italian Slow Cooker Cranberry Bean Soup with Greens
Use any dry bean you have on hand (except for kidney beans) in place of the cranberry beans, though I recommend using pinto or cannellini beans.
- 1 1/2 cups dried cranberry beans (sub pinto or a white bean - cannellini, navy, etc.)
- 6 cups water
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup shredded or diced carrots
- 1 cup diced sweet potato
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 (15.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper, to taste
- a handful or two of chopped greens, optional
- The night before:
- Put the beans in a mixing bowl, fill bowl with water at least 4 inches over the beans. Cover and soak overnight.
- In the morning:
- Drain the beans and place in your 4 quart slow cooker. Then add the water, bouillon cube, celery, carrots, sweet potato, onion, garlic, balsamic vinegar and herbs. Cook on low 7 to 9 hours or on high for 3½ to 4½ hours.
- (Note: You will add the tomatoes, nutritional yeast 30 minutes before serving, so you do not add them in the morning.)
- In the evening - 30 minutes before serving:
- Stir in the tomatoes and nutritional yeast. Turn to high and cook until the tomatoes are piping hot, about 20 to 30 minutes. Before serving taste and add salt and pepper. Now's the time to add more herbs if you feel like the flavor has faded during cooking time.
- If you are using the chopped greens you can stir them into the soup in the slow cooker or add them per bowl. They will soften from the heat of the soup and don't need to be cooked.
Since it’s wicked cold out, I decided to freeze some of the leftover soup in muffin tins outside. I’ll let you know how/if they come out. I only have the metal muffin tins, so I’ve got my fingers crossed on this one.
What’s your favorite slow cooker soup? Let me know in the comments below.