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.