Easy and Healthy Slow-Cooker Bean Soup

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One of my favorite things about life at home is a ritual that Matt and I have dubbed “Sunday Soup”.  Each Sunday afternoon, after church, I make a large quantity of some type of soup, and we eat it for lunch or dinners for the rest of the week.  I try to just use whatever I have in the house already and buy as little ingredients as possible, but also make it something tasty and healthy.  This week’s concoction was cheap, easy, and delicious, so I thought I would share with you!

Ingredients:

1 Bag Multi-Bean soup mix (I used Trader Joe’s 16 Bean and Barley)

2 containers organic vegetable broth, or homemade if you have it

1 medium sweet onion, diced

3 large carrots, sliced into ¼” circles

3 stalks celery, sliced

4-5 cloves garlic, left whole but smashed with the side of a knife

3 bay leaves (remove before serving)

1T EACH Oregano and Thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

Here comes the hard part- put everything in your slow cooker, turn it on low, and enjoy your soup 8 hours later.  I didn’t even presoak the beans- but you can if you’d like. Whew.  I love when my kitchen does the work for me!

This soup is great because it contains so many good things- protein and fiber from the beans, Vitamin C and beta carotene from the carrots, an immunity boost from the onions and garlic, and a plethora of vitamins and minerals from the vegetable broth.  The soup is also very versatile- you can add in your favorite ingredients to enhance the flavors.

Here’s some ideas:

Sub beef broth for the veggie broth

Add a can of diced tomatoes, or tomato paste

Stir in a few cups of fresh spinach

Add in ½ cup of white wine (I did this and it added great depth of flavor)

Sprinkle with crushed red pepper for heat

Add some ground beef, tomatoes, and pasta for a quick pasta fagioli

Add chunks of your favorite cheese- smoked gouda or parmesan would work nicely

Add leftover turkey or chicken

Add or sub different vegetables- zucchini, potatoes, etc

Stir in a few tablespoons of basil pesto before serving

The possibilities are limitless!  If you try something new, let me know how you like it!

Also- Sunday Soup is a great way to have something healthy on hand for the week when you don’t feel like prepping something for yourself or are short on time.  I encourage you to try it, or something like it, and see how much easier making healthy decisions can be when you’ve already got healthy meals ready!

For a great resource on meal prepping and healthy eating, check out the website www.teamtewson.com :)

3 thoughts on “Easy and Healthy Slow-Cooker Bean Soup

  1. Pingback: Best of 2013 {Crock Pot Recipes} - Nourishing Simplicity

  2. Pingback: Best of 2013 {Soups} - Your Thriving Family

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