Slow Cooker Italian Bean Soup

Fri, 19/02/2010
Need a easy, super delicious meal for your cold winter night? This soup fits the bill. This is a family favorite recipe that can be made with sausage or vegetarian style. If you follow this blog, you know we will be eating it veggie style this week. A big loaf of crusty bread is perfect to sop up the leftover goodness in your bowl after you eat this soup. Just thinking about it right now is making me hungry. 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. Serves 6. SPC