Crockpot Bean Vegetable Soup

Introduction: Crockpot Bean Vegetable Soup

I forgot to take a picture of the finished soup. The above picture is before I cooked it.

I wanted to create a filling soup I could make a couple of different ways so I could have a variety in my meals. The base of the soup lends it well to an basic soup, an Indian (curry) soup and a Mexican soup. It's chock full of vegetables and beans. it's vegan/vegetarian too, but you could add the meat of your choice to it, if you want.

Step 1: Kitchen Supplies

  • Crockpot - I use a 6 quart
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring/kitchen spoons.
  • Containers to store soup when done. I haven't frozen the soup yet, but I think i would freeze well.

(Optional: Pressure cooker - to cook the beans. Of course the crockpot could cook the beans the day before you make the soup or you can cook them in the soup. I like them pressure cooked.)

Step 2: Ingredients

The picture doesn't show all the ingredients.

I don't give amounts for many of the ingredients as they can be added to your taste or to your liking. If you don't like an ingredient, then don't use it.

  • Either a 2 pound bag of frozen green beans OR a 2 pound bag of frozen mixed vegetables or you can use any vegetable mix you want. I'm not a fan of broccoli or cauliflower. I choose green beans/mixed vegetables as they are small enough to make a good vegetable base for my soup.
  • 1 pound bag of frozen spinach or 1 or 2 of the spinach frozen in the box.
    • if you use the spinach in a box, then thaw it or slightly microwave it to get it loosened up.
  • A couple of potatoes, diced - what ever type you want.
    • I only put 2 potatoes in the soup. You can use more or less.
  • 1-2 zucchini, diced - medium sized
  • Cabbage, diced - green or purple - I like purple cabbage.
  • Celery, diced - I cut my celery up when I buy it, freeze it, and pull a handful or two out for the soup.
  • Mushrooms, sliced - I buy then as sliced fresh mushrooms then freeze them. I use a handful or two for the soup.
  • Garlic, diced - I buy the already diced, but you can buy fresh and cut it up yourself. I use a LOT of garlic.
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • Better than Bouillon Seasoned Vegetable Base - I use one heaping silverware tablespoon.
    • - They have lots of flavors. I use this flavor as I want the soup to be vegan. You could use regular bouillon cubes, but I don't know how much to use.
    • Or you could use store bought or homemade broth of some type. I use the Better than... as it is cheaper than buying broth in the box or can.
  • Salt and pepper to taste - I don't use either, but you may like it in the soup.
  • Water or broth
  • Beans -see below for what type Iuse in each soup - of course you can use any beans you want. CAUTION - make sure you read about kidney beans before cooking them a crock pot -

Spice notes for below - I haven't measured the spices going into the following soups. I like a soup with flavor to it, so I add lots of spices. You may need to add more or less depending on your taste buds. The amounts are approximately what I add.

Spice for regular soup:

  • Italian seasoning blend - I add lots of this 2-3 tablespoons
  • Poultry seasoning - 1-2 tablespoons
  • Maybe some extra oregano, basil, thyme - whatever you like the taste of.
  • Small red beans

Spice for Indian

  • I can of coconut milk (Use the canned. I use the light coconut milk, but you can use the regular if you want.)
  • Curry Powder 1-2 tablespoons
  • Coriander 1 tablespoon
  • Garam Masala 1 tablespoon
  • Great Northern beans (I don't like garbanzo beans)

Spice for Mexican

  • Chili powder 1-2 tablespoons
  • Coriander - 2 teaspoons
  • Cumin 2 teaspoons
  • Cinnamon (I know it sounds weird but it adds a good taste to it. You only need a teaspoon or so.)
  • Black beans

Step 3: Prep Work and Cooking

Left Picture - no beans .

Right Picture with beans.

In both pictures - note that the water is just below the top of the ingredients. You can always add more water as it cooks or at the end

If you are pressure cooking your beans, start them now. If you want to cook your beans in the crock pot, you can cook them the day/night before, drain and add them to your soup. If you use canned, you can rinse the beans if you want. You can cook the beans with your vegetables, but I don't think they turned out as well as when they are added precooked, but I like well cooked beans. Remember the warning about cooking kidney beans in the crockpot. It is HIGHLY suggested that kidney beans are NOT cooked in a crockpot.

Dice the onion and garlic.

If you are making the Indian style:

  • For less oil in the soup, put a small amount of water in a frying pan or put a small amount of oil in a frying pan.
  • Heat frying pan over low flame
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes
  • Add the curry, coriander and garam masala
  • Cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk, stir well, scraping all the spices off the bottom of pan.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Cooking these spices makes a huge difference..

Slice/dice the other vegetables. I like small sized vegetables, but the size of pieces is up to you.

If you are going to add meat, then I'd dice the raw meat into small pieces. You can choose if you want to precook the meat a bit in a frying pan to brown it a bit or not.

Grab your crockpot.

NOTE: I prepare my soup the night before and put it in the refrigerator overnight, then I cook it in the crockpot the next day. My crockpot has a removable cook pot. if your crockpot doesn't have the removable cook pot and you want to keep in refrigerator overnight or during the day, then use a large bowl. It will make your refrigerator smell like onions, garlic, and spices. Be careful if you have food in your refrigerator that absorbs odors.

Start with the 2 pound package of frozen vegetables (green beans OR mixed vegetables OR what ever your chose to use). Open the bag and put as the first layer in crockpot.

If using meat, add it now.

Next add the spinach.

Then add the rest of your ingredients, the bouillon and spices. If you precooked your spices with the onions and garlic, pour this mixture over your vegetables

Next add the water or broth. I add the water now so the spices can dissolve in water as I pour the water in. I use enough water or broth to barely show under the top of the vegetables. The picture shows about to what level I add. The vegetables are going to add their own water to the soup and you can always add more later while cooking.

I cook the soup on low for 10 hours. Does it need it that long? Probably not, but that is about how long I'm at work during the day. If you are using dried beans, I'd cook it on high for a three to four hours, then low for the rest of the time. To me the long slow cooking time is more to build the taste of soup. The vegetables will be well done.

If you plan to freeze it, cool it properly, and package in freezable containers. I have NOT frozen it, so I'm not sure how well it works in freezer.

I package the soup in 2.5 cups amounts in a plastic container and put containers in the refrigerator. Sometimes I will add 1/4 cup of old fashioned oats when I package it up, so the oats can 'cook' as it sits in the refrigerator.

When I am ready to eat, I heat it up in the microwave. Take a couple of deep breaths of the aroma off of the soup before you eat - canned soup doesn't smell as good as this one!

Enjoy. Comment if you tried it!

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