In my ideal world, I’d make vegan slow cooker soups every single day. 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 in my pantry: sweet potatoes, celery, onion, and carrots. Feel free to change these with what you have in your fridge and pantry.
Do I Have to Saute Onions Before Adding to My Slow Cooker?
While I do recommend that you saute your onions you can skip it. Cooking them makes the flavor better. In this recipe I was lazy and did not cook the onions first.
I cut up and saute a whole bag of onions at the same time. Then I freeze them to just grab and throw in the slow cooker whenever I need them. It does make it taste a little richer, but if it’s a choice between no soup or sauteing, you know what you need to do.
Another easy substitution is to use onion powder. I use about 1 teaspoon per cup of onion.
I love a good cranberry beans recipe and had some in my pantry.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.
The Soaking Your Beans in the Slow Cooker
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 can discard the first cooking water and add fresh. You may need to adjust the morning water since you may have extra from cooking the beans overnight.
What Can I Substitute for Celery?
I use about 1/2 teaspoon of ground celery seed or 1 teaspoon of whole celery seed if I’m out of celery.
What If I Don’t Have a Stock Cube?
Using stock or a stock cube can really make the soup more flavourful no doubt, but if you don’t have it, don’t worry- you can still lend the soup a little bit of flavour punch by simply sneaking in some extra garlic, pepper, onions and the spices of your choice. Squeezing a bit of lemon juice or adding a pinch of grated lemon zest can also work wonderfully!
- 1 1/2 cups dried cranberry beans or a white bean like cannellini
- 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.
You can use kale, collards, spinach, kale, or other mild green in this soup.
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Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 361Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 447mgCarbohydrates 81gFiber 15gSugar 41gProtein 14g
Nutrition information is provided from nutritionix.com as a close estimate. If you have specific health issues please put the recipe information, including the exact ingredients you use, into the nutritional calculator your Dr. recommends.
Can You Freeze This Slow Cooker Cranberry Bean Soup?
A brothy bean soup is always does great in the freezer. Sometimes I freeze them in the amount I’d use for one meal, but I also pack up a few single servings for a grab and go lunch.
Since it was wicked cold out, I decided to freeze some of the leftover soup in muffin tins outside. They did okay, but I had to let hot water run over the bottom for a few minutes before they would come out. Silicone muffin tins would have worked better I think.
This soup works perfectly as a complete meal in itself, but if you want a little more, you can whip up a quick salad on the side, or serve this with a couple of slices of bread to mop up all those delicious juices towards the end.
You’ll be getting a lot of protein and nutritional benefits out of this soup, so all you really need to do is bring out the flavours in it in the way you prefer, so that you’re tempted to make this more often. And if you’re looking for some more fun and delicious recipes to try out, here are a few to get you started on.
More Recipes to Try
- Root Veggie Barley Risotto from Vegan Slow Cooking for Two
- Slow Cooker Cabbage Steaks from The Revised Vegan Slow Cooker
- Slow Cooker Whole Wheat Spelt Potato Rolls