Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Slow Cooker Goodness

Is there anything better than a good slow cooker recipe? Really tasty slow cooker recipes seem hard to find. Too many are bland, soggy or use funky unnatural ingredients.

When I find a new slow cooker recipe that rocks, I get very excited. It's the little things after all...

We tried this recipe last week that I tweaked and altered from a traditional soup recipe that my aunt shared with me. It can be made with sausage or ham, or alternatively, without to make it vegetarian.

Please, do yourself a favor and try this soup!

Italian Bean and Artichoke* Soup

3 cups of dried beans (use any combination you wish) -OR- 5 - 15oz cans of beans, drained and rinsed (such as canellini, lima, kidney, pinto, lentils, great northern, or navy)
1 -28oz jar of tomato marinara
1 quart broth
2 bay leaves
2 T dried minced onion
1 T dried parsley flakes
1 t dried minced garlic
1 t dried thyme leaves
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 t red pepper flakes
optional: 8 ounces smoked sausage links, sliced or 8 ounces ham, diced
*optional: 1 - 15oz can of artichoke hearts, cut into quarters or smaller

If using dried beans, soak the beans to soften overnight as directed on the package.

Mix beans, marinara, broth, spices (from bay leaves through to the red pepper flakes) and sausage/ham (if using) in slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 5-6 hours. About 15 minutes before you are ready to serve the soup, add the artichoke hearts, if desired.

Serve with some big crusty bread for the perfect cold weather meal.



justme said...

i am so loving my slow cooker right now. did you see there is a blog by some lady who vowed to use her crockpot 365 days in the year 2008 ??

Live.Love.Eat said...

I know what you mean about the slow cooker. A while back I had committed to doing one a week but I didn't find a whole lotta recipes that caught my eye. So much cream ofs and stuff. But this looks good!!!!

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Feener--I did see that site. I need to take a better gander to see what is on there. Any you have tried and liked?

Erin said...

Yum! Not the biggest crockpot fan but this looks awesome!

Steel Magnolia said...

can't.wait.to.try.it!! Thanks again SPC!!!

Amer21 said...

I like using my slow cooker so I'll have to give this one a try!!

Amer21 said...

I tried this last night and it was good. It makes A LOT. I ended up freezing some. Yours looks thicker. Did you just not put the "soup" part in your bowl just the goodies? Matt actually enjoyed it and it's hard to please him sometimes with crockpot recipes. Thanks!!

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Amy--The pictures were from the next day...it soaks up a fair amount of the liquid overnight. Sorry for any misrepresentation, but glad you liked it!

Anonymous said...

The soup you made based on your aunt's recipe sounds delicious :)! It looks really hearty and filling, perfect for scooping up with that bread. I'd like to feature your recipe on our blog. Please let me know if you're interested!

Sweet Pea Chef said...

Sophie, I would be happy to have you post this recipe on your blog!