Beans are protein-packed, antioxidant-rich little superfoods. They are nearly fat free and are cholesterol free. But, they also lead to a healthy heart. They lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels instead of causing them to increase as some meat and animal proteins tend to do.
They’re versatile as a side dish and can be used in tasty vegetarian main dishes. They can be added to other dishes to add a protein punch such as pasta, casseroles, salads and soups.
The soup I’ve made here is made completely in the slow-cooker. I love beans but I’ll be honest, I have a hard time with soaking dry beans overnight so that I can cook with them the next day. This recipe solves that problem as they go into the slow cooker dry and come out tender and delicious. This soup can be made totally vegetarian or you can add turkey sausage if you’re looking for a non-vegetarian option. The turkey sausage does give the soup a nice flavor as it cooks. However, I’ve made it both ways and both are delicious.
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 medium onion - diced (I used a yellow onion)
- 4 carrots - medium dice
- 4 stalks of celery plus the leaves - diced medium
- 1 pound of dry cannellini beans - rinsed and picked through to remove any debris or little stones
- 2 Tablespoons all purpose vegetable seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 7 cups of vegetable broth (vegetarian) or chicken broth
- 4 turkey sausages - casings removed
- Place the carrots, celery, onion and garlic into a large slow cooker.
- Add the olive oil and mix it through the veggies.
- Add the beans and spices.
- Add the broth and stir to combine all the ingredients.
- If using the turkey sausage, add the sausages on the top.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Take out the turkey sausage (if using) and chop it up, stirring it through the soup.
- I have kept the soup as is and I've also used the immersion blender to blend some of it for a thicker consistency. You could also use a potato masher to mash some of the beans. Once the soup is cooked it tends to thicken up so I sometimes add a little more broth upon reheating it. It keeps well in the refrigerator for several days. Serve it with some crusty grilled bread and it's a complete meal.