I am a southern girl (which you probably know by now if you follow this blog) and I love bean soup. So does my 15 yr old, and he requested it this week, so, who am I to say no!! I’ve tried many times to make it in the crock pot, because it seems like a great fit… but for whatever reason, it never really worked… until last night! Below is a pretty delicious, filling, and low calorie classic southern white bean soup. It takes a little more prep time than I normally put into a crockpot meal, but honestly, I did everything the night before, except add the beans. I stored the rest of the soup mixture in the fridge overnight, and cleaned and sorted the beans, and set them aside on the counter. Then in the morning, I mixed the dried beans in and started the crockpot. It was yummy! For an extra 170 calories, I served it with one prepared jiffy corn bread muffin. mmm…… that deserves another one…. say it with me…. “mmmmmmm……” Enjoy!
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 stalks of celery, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 4 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 country ham hock (8 oz)
- 26 oz of chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 3 Cups water
- 1 lb dry great northern beans
1. On the stove top, heat oil in a medium sized skillet. Add some non-stick spray if you need more than just the 1/2 tbsp of oil.
2. Add the onions, celery, and carrots to the pan. Heat them in the oil, stirring regularly, until the veggies begin to soften a big. Onions may turn semi-translucent.
3. Transfer veggie mixture to the empty crock pot. Add everything else on the list to the crock pot, except the beans. Don’t add the beans yet.
4. Use a strainer to rinse your beans thoroughly. Sort through the beans while cleaning them, and discard any beans that are discolored, shriveled, or broken. Be sure to rinse them well. Occassionaly you might find a pebble in there. Remove that too :) they’re hard to digest.
5. See all those steps up there ^^ I did all those the night before, and then stored my beans on the counter, and the remaining soup mixture in the fridge, over night. Don’t soak your beans…. just rinse them, drain the water, and set them aside. If you’re doing this all in the same day, then you can go ahead and add your beans at this point. If you prep the night before like me, then just stir the beans in when you’re ready to start cooking!
6. Stir the beans into the mixture, and heat on low for about 8 hours, upto 10.
7. 30 min before serving, remove the ham hock, and the bay leaves. Mix the soup around, and if you like (i do) you can take a rigid spoon and smoosh some of the beans against the edge of the crock pot. This creates a thicker soup, which I like. You don’t have to do the smooshy part…it’s up to you. BUT… do leave the lid off and let it cook for another 20-30 min or so. \
Editors Note: I also remove about 1/4 cup of the country ham from the hamhock, chop it up, and add it back into the soup. Again, up to you. Southern girls don’t pass up country ham when they have the chance to eat it.
Makes 9 Cups.
1 Cup of soup= 172 Calories per cup
Approximately 4 weight watchers points plus per cup