What’s better than a good soup for lunches during the cooler months, or for a quick, healthy dinner in a time crunch? This Slow-Cooker Southwestern Bean Soup is a load-and-go crock pot recipe adaptation from one we found on Eating Well.
While there is really nothing “quick” about it because you first have to soak the beans overnight, the “fast” method in a slow cooker takes four hours on high, and the “slow” method takes seven or eight hours in the crockpot. Not exactly my idea of a quick turn-around. But the prep is quite simple and then its hands off for hours, allowing you to do other things.
As with many recipes, we alter them to suit or own personal preferences. In this case, we increased each of the three bean types from one-third cup to a half cup each. Then we included 4 pressed garlic cloves and a can of crushed tomatoes to address the moisture for the extra beans. All of these changes are noted below.
Bump up the Southwest flavors like we did with all, or some, of these garnishes of chopped fresh cilantro, some crumbled Cotija (or ricotta salata) cheese, sliced scallions and a squeeze of lime, if desired.
To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Slow-Cooker Southwestern Bean Soup
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large stalk celery, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups chicken broth, (or vegetable broth)
- 1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup pearl barley
- ½ cup dried black beans
- ½ cup dried great northern beans
- ½ cup dried kidney beans
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- ¾ tsp. salt
- Soak black beans, great northern beans and kidney beans in water for at least 6 hours or overnight. Drain and boil in fresh water for 10 minutes. Drain and add to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.
- Add oil, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, water, broth, tomatoes, barley, chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt to the slow cooker. Cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 4 hours on High, or 7 to 8 hours on Low.
Recipe adapted from Carolyn Malcoun for EatingWell.com