From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This soup was a delightful surprise. I can be quite critical when it comes to bean dishes, because more often than not, I'm disappointed in the way they taste. The financial constraints of SNAP challenge, however, made it necessary for me to experiment with bean recipes and this soup was one of my happier discoveries. I found the recipe in Family Circle magazine. It caught my eye because the soup is made in a slow cooker and uses common ingredients that, in the relative scheme of things, are quite inexpensive. The recipe is straight forward and easy to follow, though I did find the soup was done long before the time suggested in the directions. My batch was ready to serve after 6 hours in the pot. Had I let it simmer longer than that, the beans and vegetables would have completely dissolved and the soup would be more of a bean puree than the soup I was expecting. Despite its truly peasant nature and having to fiddle with the time, this is a delicious soup that I'll be making often. I really hope you'll give this recipe a try. I think you'll enjoy the soup as much as I have. Here is how it is made.
Slow Cooker Smoky Navy Bean Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Family Circle magazine
1 pound navy beans, soaked overnight
2 ham shanks (about 1-1/2 pounds)
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes with chipotle or jalapeno pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
1) Coat slow-cooker bowl with nonstick cooking spray.
2) Drain beans and add to slow cooker bowl. Stir in 6 cups water, ham, onion, celery, carrots, tomatoes and thyme. Cover and cook on LOW for 10 hours.
3) Remove ham shanks from soup and shred meat. Remove 2 cups of soup, puree and return to slow cooker along with shredded ham. Add vinegar and salt and pepper. Add spinach by the handful and stir until wilted. Yield: 8 servings.
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