Hearty Navy Bean Soup {Slowcooker Version}

Its official Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, so 6 more weeks of winter! I think we all saw that one coming. So far this has been a cold, frosty, wet winter for most of the United States. Today's forecast for North Texas calls for a wintry mix, including a possible accumulating of snowfall before ending in a period of ice in the evening, so we shall see. 

I know those of you in other parts of the country have it way worse that we do, but when the temperature dips down into the teens for highs that's really cold for Texas. All I can say is it's been quite chilly outside (to say the least), and when the weather is too cold to venture outside, I like to stay inside and warm up with a hot bowl of soup.

There's nothing better to soothe the soul or your belly. Slow cooker soups are my favorite, because they're simple to make, require minimal ingredients, and the slow cooker does all the work. Who doesn't love that? 

Using canned beans makes things so much easier especially when it comes to homemade soup. Not only do they significantly cut down on the the cooking time, but with a few pantry staples you can have a hearty homemade soup in no time. 

Last week we had a run of cold weather so I  made a Hearty Navy Bean Soup (aka Senate Bean Soup) that everyone loved. I found the recipe on Taste of Home, but added a few extra ingredients that I had on hand. All in all I think it turned out wonderful.

Hearty Navy Bean Soup

3 - (16 oz) cans Navy Beans (I prefer Bush's)
1 - (14.5 oz) can chopped stewed or diced tomatoes, undrained 
1 - small onion, chopped
1 - cup carrots, sliced
1 - clove garlic, minced
1 - meaty smoked ham hock, meaty ham bone or 2 cups diced cooked ham
2 - cups low sodium chicken broth
1 - cup water
1 - bay leaf
1/2 - tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste 

Drain and rinse beans and set aside. In a 6 quart slow cooker add the tomatoes with juice, ham hock, ham bone or ham, beans, broth, water, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Turn the crock pot to low

In a medium size skillet add a 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and heat the skillet until it's nice and hot. Add the carrots, onions and garlic. Saute' until the onions are translucent (about 5-7 minutes).

Add the vegetables to the crock pot. Cook on low for 4 hours.
If using a ham hock or ham bone, remove and let stand until cool enough to hand. 

Remove meat from bone; discard bone. Cut meat into bite-size pieces and add back to the crock pot and stir to mix. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Cook's Note: For a thicker soup remove one cup of beans, mash and return to the crock pot.  You can also use instant potato flakes to thicken soups (1/4 - cup flakes) usually does the trick, but add more as needed. The potato flakes will thicken up the soup without altering the flavor or taste. If using stewed tomatoes chop them up before adding. Also I like to start my slow cooker on "high" for the first hour and then reduce the temperature to low for the remaining cooking time.

adapted from: Taste of home

Did you know that Bush's also makes Reduced Sodium Beans? This is a great option for people who are trying to decrease their sodium intake. If you're worried about taste and texture don't be, because their reduced sodium beans have the same taste and feel, but just with less sodium. Click here to find out which varieties are available in reduced sodium. 

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Bush's Beans. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 

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Colleen said…
This looks wonderful and so easy to make. No more cooking the beans first which takes extra time to do. A person probably also could add some diced potatoes as well in with this.

Been colder than usual here in Texas so been making more soups and stews.
Thanks for the recipe
sharon jackson said…
Tina, I made this for dinner tonight and my hubby of 32 years loved it!!!
I am a bad cook and he often asks me not to try recipes for a second time. This recipe is a keeper. Tasty and easy to make. Thanks,

Tina Butler said…
Oh Sharon that is so wonderful. I am so glad your husband loved it. I hope this will inspire you to try some more recipes. :)
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Arlene said…
Do you think you could use dried beans that have been soaked overnight and just cook it longer or would the beans have to be cooked before hand?