Slow cooker white bean soup (vegetarian)
I'm on a quest for meatless slow cooker recipes. They're hard to find, especially good ones. Here's a good one. Beans are perfect for the slow cooker because they take forever to cook. Don't forget to soak your beans the night before!
Slow cooker white bean soup
(adapted from this recipe)
1 pound white beans
3 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4–1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
salt to taste
Rinse beans and soak overnight. The next morning, drain beans and rinse well. Put beans in a slow cooker (I use a four-quart slow cooker) with six cups of water, the bay leaves, and the rosemary. If you've got a long time until dinner (twelve hours or so), turn it to low. If you have ten hours or less, turn your slow cooker to high for the first 2–4 hours of cooking, then turn it down to low. You're going to cook those beans until they fall apart.
Let cook for 8–12 hours. Sometime in the last hour or two of cooking, fish out your bay leaves and rosemary and mash up the beans with a potato masher.
On the stove, sauté garlic and red pepper in olive oil. Add about a cup of the soup, and mix and let simmer until the olive oil is fully incorporated into the soup. Add back to the slow cooker. Season soup to taste with salt (I usually add about 2 teaspoons).