Healthy Crockpot Bean Soup
Suitable for everyone including vegans and vegetarians, this flavor-packed bean and lentil soup is ideal to fill your belly at lunchtime or dinnertime. You will need two cups of dried beans and lentils to make it, and you can choose any kind. Does your local market have a bulk section? If so, see what kind of dried beans you can get there, and grab some veggies there as well.
Once you have picked through the beans in case there are any little stones in there or broken beans you do not want to use, you can put them in the crockpot along with the other ingredients. We are adding zucchini, celery, onion, and tomatoes as the vegetables, although if you want to use carrots, mushrooms or other kinds of vegetables that is also fine. Then we have ginger, orange zest, oregano, bay leaves, and garlic for flavor, along with prunes (dried plums) for a lovely natural sweet taste.
This soup is slow-cooked to tenderize the beans and lentils and combine all the flavors in the soup to give the tastiest result. Served with bread or just by itself, in a mug or in a bowl, this makes a wonderful lunch and will warm you up during the chilly months. Why not take some to work in a thermos flask and enjoy it during the day? You can change any of the ingredients you want, add barley, rice or pasta for a heartier finish, or even use chicken or beef stock for a non-vegetarian take on this crockpot bean soup. If you prefer to make this on the stove, that is also possible but then swap the dried beans for well-drained canned ones, else it will take hours to cook and much of the liquid will evaporate.
- 2 cups assorted dried lentils and beans
- 2 quarts vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- ½ chopped zucchini
- 2 chopped celery stalks
- 1 chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped prunes
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Sprigs of thyme or other fresh herbs, for garnish
- Pick through the lentils and beans to remove any broken ones or bits of debris.
- Rinse the beans.
- Put the lentils and beans in a slow cooker.
- Add the broth, ginger, orange zest, oregano, bay leaves, garlic, zucchini, celery, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, and prunes.
- Cook for 8 to 10 hours on low.
- Add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Discard the bay leaves.
- Serve hot, garnished with thyme sprigs or similar.
This is a tasty, colorful soup which is ideal for anyone, including vegans and vegetarians. It is a wonderful way to get nutritious vegetables into your diet, along with healthy beans. This is very easy to make. The ingredients just need to go in a crockpot all day, then when you get home (from work or from a day out) the soup is ready to serve. Although you can enjoy this at any time, a chilly evening in the winter is a particular great choice, since then you will be craving something hearty and warming, and this is much more nutritious than some other kinds of comfort food.
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