I bought this book last spring, and I have really loved the recipes that I tried out of it. Many other slow cooker cookbooks have the same old recipes that sometimes end up lacking in taste. Since it's (finally) cold here in Connecticut, I've been craving this type of food. Last night was chili, and today I was looking for a good bean soup, and I found it quickly here. I have never participated in Diary of a SAHM's Slow Cooking Thursday, although I've enjoyed recipes that I've seen at Laura's and Susanne's blogs. Since I had a success tonight, I thought I'd share. Click here for more recipes.
White Bean Soup with Bacon
from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooking Cookbook
2 cups dried navy or great northern beans, presoaked
2 to 3 strips of bacon, cooked until fat is rendered, but not crispy, and chopped, or 1 ham bone
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, minced
1 small carrot, minced
1 bouqui garni (1/2 tsp dried oregano, 3 sprigs fresh parsley, 1/2 sage leaf, and 1 bay leaf, wrapped in cheesecloth and tied with kitchen twine)**
6 cups chicken broth or water (I used 2 cans of broth and less than 1 can of water)
salt to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional (I did use this, and it was good, but might add less than 1/2 cup next time)
**I have never made a bouqui garni. I know it's not hard or complicated, but cheesecloth is not kitchen staple around here. I put in a whole dried bay leaf, and the parsley sprigs, which I fished out after cooking, and then just added some ground spices to the soup.
1. Combine the beans, bacon, onion, celery, carrot, bouquet garni, and broth in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 or 9 hours.
2. Remove the bouquet garni and bone, if using, and discard. Puree about 1/3 of the soup in a food processor or with handheld immersion blender. Season with salt, then add pepper and cream, if using, and continue to cook on Low 15 minutes longer.
More true confessions: I actually cooked this on the stove top, because I didn't decide to make it until after noon. It worked well, but I like that this recipe can truly cook all day, which some slow cooker recipes don't allow. I used a handheld potato-mashing tool to just mash some of it up.
I would post a picture, but the camera is, um, missing, and it looks like you would think white bean soup would look. The two-year-old didn't want to try it, and the 8-year-old didn't want to try it either, but once she did, she really liked it.